Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Surgical Editing

I'm making good progress rewriting Deep Embrace. I'm halfway through chapter three and I'm finally smoothing out all of its problems. It was really hard writing the first draft. I realized about half way through that I had major problems. I knew the beginning was bad, some chapters needed to be cut in half, and some scenes would probably need a complete rewrite. I had characters going up and down emotionally, had scenes that were way too long, the list goes on and on. My inner editor spent months jumping up and down shouting "It's crap! It's all crap!" It was hard to ignore my fears and continue ahead with my flawed first draft. I knew if I stopped before I reached the end and went back to rewrite the beginning that I would get caught in an endless loop and would probably never finish it.

Well I managed to finish. Now I'm very carefully weeding out all of those problems and it really is quite surgical. I have to be very careful of what I remove because it might have an effect on the rest of the book. When you make a change you are making a different timeline, basically, that could derail you. I'm planning on rewriting the second half of chapter three which will mean rewriting most of chapter four but I know it will be for the best. The question is can I pull it off without making the rest of the book rear off track and fall apart?

Ereaders vs Paper Books

My e-reader broke just before Christmas. The screen cracked. I switched it on and stared in horror at its shattered, blinking screen for several seconds before calling my husband and tearfully announcing its demise. I was a little panicked. When I wreck a paper book (I've dropped them in toilets, gotten food on them, throw them out of car windows when I was a kid...) it is annoying but not the end of the world. I can sticky tape the spine back together, put it on a shelf to dry, lick my finger and try to rub off that tomato sauce stain on page 92.

When an e-reader breaks you realize you have just lost 23 books. It was my first broken e-reader and I started wondering if the books on it could be salvaged. Luckily, they would and the week after Christmas I bought a new one. I was standing in the kitchen thinking about my new one just now and was wondering how long it would last before it too broke. A year? Six months? Who knows. This one has a screen protector and I bought a little zip bag to "protect it" (I'm not sure how much it will actually protect it).

When I wreck a paper book I am looking at a lost of between $10-60. When I break an e-reader I'm looking at a cost of $99 and up to replace it. Is it worth it? I love e-readers and ebooks. I hate ebook book stores though. Australia has little to none and the few places that do sell them are over priced.

I get my books from Kobo. I have tried to find other places to purchase them from. Most websites are for people in the US only or are so complicated I couldn't figure out how to download the books. So I'm stuck with Kobo. Kobo is...okay. It has an unusually large selection of books in foreign languages and will have a random selection of books from one series instead of all of them (All I want is One for the Money by Janet Evanovich on ebook Kobo!! Why don't you have it?!?)

Are e-book readers really an improvement on paper books? Yes and no. I like being able to carry multiple books around with me at once. It's nice to not have to carry hard backs around. But I am petrified of my new e-reader breaking. Its probably just a matter of time before it does. I'll forget its in my bag and I'll toss my handbag on the floor and my purse will fall on it and boom---done. That's probably how it happened last time.

Despite the flaws of ebook readers I will continue to use them. Its pros outweigh its flaws...but barely, sometimes.

New guest blog spot!

I've had another guest blog spot published. This time it is on the blog of fellow Champagne Books author Lauren Gallagher/L.A Witt. There's been a lot of news about authors behaving badly on Amazon in the past year. There have been meltdowns, tantrums and questionable marketing techniques. One thing that has been absent has been professionalism! You can read all about it in the blog post here

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Check out my first ever guest blog spot!

A long time ago author Erin O'Riordan wrote one of the first good reviews of my little short story Whispers in the Dark. I've just done a guest blog spot on her blog Pagan Spirits to help promote my blog, myself, and my soon to be released novella Echoes in the Wind.

The blog post can be seen here

I decided to write about the topic of swear words in book titles. Anyone who has read my blog in the past would know that I am not bothered by swear words and find it irritating and bewildering when people go nuts about them (the 'Someone think of the children!' crowd. You know the ones) which I talk about in my blog post.

Erin has kindly welcomed me back to do another blog post in march when Echoes in the Wind comes out. I will. I hope I will be able to do some other guest blog posts on some different blogs in the next few months as well. I am also looking for people to do some guest blog posts here. I am looking for people to write blog posts about their opinions about writing or anything interesting going on in the publishing world at the moment. Also welcome are authors looking to promote their upcoming books. All I ask in return is that if you have a blog you link me on yours and I will link yours on mine.

Anyone who is interested email me on

Friday, December 16, 2011

Self-Published Kindle Book To Hit The Big Screen

After several failed attempts to find a publisher or an agent for her book series called the Tigers Curse, author Colleen Houck did what so many other writers are doing these days and decided to take a chance self-publishing them on Amazon's Kindle service. Her three books (The Tigers Curse, Tigers Quest and Tigers Voyage) were a major success and were picked up by a publishing house and just recently have had the motion picture rights acquired by Paramount Pictures.

I looked up the first book in her series on Amazon and it has over 205 five star reviews. That is just amazing. I love hearing stories about writers like Colleen who take a chance on self-publishing and manage to reach dizzying heights of success that leave other writers scratching their heads and wondering "How does she do it?"

Are e-books the future of publishing? It's possible. Look at the closure of major bookstore chains like Borders and Angus and Robertson in Australia. People don't want to spend over $60 on a hardback book in a brick and mortar store when they can buy the ebook version for much, much less online. More and more people are buying devices like iPads and Kindles that enable them to read ebooks and are being drawn towards online ebook stores like Kobo that sell downloadable books for as low as 99cents. Can you blame them?

There are still alot of writers who think that self-publishing is a bad idea and that ebooks are full of errors and very poor quality. In these people's eyes you cannot call yourself an author or that you are published unless your book is available in a proper, old fashioned bookstore.

I think these people are clinging to the past a little too much. Sadly, I do not see bookstores being a common thing in the future. I think there will still be some around but they will not a common sight anymore. After the introduction of online music store iTunes there has been a massive decline in music shops around where I live. There used to be least one in every major shopping center. Now they are a rare sight unless they sell multiple things like books and dvds and food. Those ones have managed to cling on.

I think the publishing world is changing and some people need to catch up to it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Like me! Like me! Like me!

I set up an official facebook page for myself as an author today! You can now find at the bottom of each post a facebook link to "like" my official page. Please click on it! It's very exciting watching the number of "likes" go up and up. At the moment I have almost ten which is not bad considering I only made it this morning. Hopefully having it will boost the number of people who read my blog. I'm going to try my best to market myself and my books more online lately. The good thing about my facebook page is that it is completely open (or at least it should be)to the public and not private like my personal page. That means that more people should be able to interact with me on facebook. I have chosen to continue to publish under my maiden name. It made sense since I'm already published under that name. And my new name is a bit long!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Echoes in the Wind has a front cover!

I got to see the front cover of Echoes in the Wind for the first time today and it blew me away! The model embodies Echo in every possible way. The look on her face is so full of anger, so chilling, it really does scream "I'm going to kick your ass Pan!" It makes me wonder if the artist read the book because there is a scene towards the end when Echo turns around slowly and glares at Pan over her shoulder and this picture looks exactly like that!

Echo is a proud, beautiful, brave, exotic black goddess. When I look at this picture it is like someone cracked open my head, scooped out my brains and put them onto a bit of paper. This picture IS my Echo. From her hair to her eyes to her firm, angry mouth. She is my beautiful, perfect, green haired goddess.

There is so much detail in the cover! I love the large Greek styled lettering for the title, I love the picture of the running man behind the title, I love how the background has Greek letters engraved in stone on it. It is just so awesome! It is moments like this that make writing all worth it. Seeing your characters come alive is just an amazing feeling. Its like giving birth. After months and months of carrying your child and wondering what it will look like you finally get a chance to really see it. Hold it. Smell it.

Now that I have the front cover I can put the finishing touches on my website and launch it very soon. I'm also going to try and begin marketing Echoes in the Wind. My sister is going to be making me a trailer too! It's exciting times ahead!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Publish America children's author who is also a serial killer

Publish America is back in the news but not for what you might think. One of its children's authors, J.D Bauer, has been revealed to be a man, not a woman, and a serial killer responsible for killing his wife, mistress, his friend and his step daughter.

I originally found out this story on the day of my wedding on gossip news website Gawker and immediately did a search for this guy's book The Trinity of Superkidds: Book One: The Quest for Water.

And found out it had been published by Publish America! The plot thickens! Seriously this story is so fascinating it reads like the plot of a novel. The female author who is really a man who is really a serial killer who was published by one of the biggest scam publishing houses in America. And to make this whole thing even more weird the author donated all the profits of his book to the World Food Programme.

And...and...this is is a good's been pulled off! The question now is has Publish America actually PULLED a book from publication willingly? Usually they only stop selling books if they fail to make a profit (they offer the author a chance to pay their way out of their contract) or the author can buy their way out of their own contract if they are not happy with Publish America.

One would think Publish America would be absolutely gleeful that one of their authors is not a convicted serial killer. Now that it's in the news people will be searching for this guy and his book online and will be tempted to buy it. Which leads me to suspect if Amazon has taken the moral ground and taken the book down itself. Its possible that someone complained and even asked for it to be taken down.

What makes this story even more strange is that The Trinity of SuperKidds: Book One: The Quest for Water looks like it actually sold really well. The book's official facebook page has over 3,000 friends. The question is though how many of them are actual fans of the book and how many of them just like the page because the author has been revealed to be a convicted killer?

Another question that needs to be asked is how could a man kill four people, put it all behind him, and then move on with his life by bringing out a young adult fantasy book about water pollution? How could he do one evil act but be against something as evil as pollution? The world is a strange place.

Should characters be role models?

A couple of weeks ago (that's how long I've been meaning to blog about this) I was reading a discussion on a message board about the latest episode of Glee. One of the songs featured in the episode was "Candyman" by Christina Aguilera. One of the people on the message board thought this was a terribly inappropriate choice of a song for a group of teenagers to sing because of this line:

He's a one stop, gotcha hot, making all the panties drop

(see lyrics here)

And wondered what sort of teacher would ever choose a song like that for a high school choir to sing. All because of the line making all the pantie drop. How scandalous!

Cut to a week later and in another episode Curt and Blaine get fake IDs and sneak into a gay nightclub and almost do it in the back of a car. When I saw this episode I giggled and wondered what all of the conservative prudes who watch Glee would think of this little nugget. Gay sex! Fake IDs! Those kids are out of control! Whatever will those meddling kids get up to next?

Since when should fictional characters be held as role models for flesh and blood kiddies? Are we treating television shows like third parents now? Should fictional characters never fart, swear, break the law, lie or sing about panties dropping?

I'll never forget when JK Rowling revealed that Albus Dumbledore was gay. Some people came out and labelled him a pedophile (despite the fact that he is fictional) all because he was a kindly old man who worked with children. Suddenly his relationship with Harry was labelled as weird and creepy. Hysterical mothers claimed they would not let their children read the books again.

What sort of a world are we living in when even fictional characters cannot be gay? Can you imagine how boring the world would be if all fictional characters were these boring, straight laced, clones of each other? Some people seem to think that if their children see a same sex kiss on television, an accidental nipple flash, or if teenagers act all saucy on television that their children will be scarred for life and will be robbed of their innocence.

What rubbish!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My beautiful wedding

I got married last Saturday!! I spent the week anxiously watching the weather, which was predicting rain, but felt confident that "chance of a shower" meant that it would not rain at all or at worst in the morning or hopefully not even over the part of town we were getting married in. I woke up to blue skies after a rainy friday and felt joy streak through me. I was going to be able to get married in my beautiful park and have the photos there next to the glassy lake and old trees with their twisted roots!

As the morning grew late, the sky grew overcast, but I remained hopeful that it would not rain and would pass over. By the time the make up artist arrived I was in my parents bedroom anxiously calling the groom and asking him about the weather. "It's fine!" he said. "A little overcast! I think we're good to go." The plan had been to cancel the wedding in the park and move to the reception hall if it rained.

Cut to mid morning and I've checked the weather probably a million times and it has sprinkled a few times. Early afternoon hits and I'm in my dress and getting cuddles from the flower girl and bridesmaids and waiting for the photographer to arrive. He comes on time around 2pm and the heavens decide, an hour and a half before the wedding now too late to cancel, to open up and shit down upon us.

Not just a little rain. Oh no. It POURED. The rain came down in thick sheets that pelted the ground and ran in rivers down the street to the sewers. I stood in the front door of my parent's house in all my finerey and stared with a blank expression on my face out into the roaring rain and tried not to burst into tears. The limo driver, such a nice man, stood next to me telling me he had big black umbrellas and that rain was good luck! good luck! I hear some loud bangs and asked in a devastated whisper "Is that thunder?"
"No, no, love," he replied, his smile fixed on his face. "Just someone messing around with building supplies."

When we left the house to head to the ceremony (again too late to cancel) the entire bridal party huddled in the garage and stared out into the raging weather and all tried to pretend that while, YEAH, it was raining would be ALL SUNSHINE AT THE PARK!! I'm the first to huddle out to the car in my heels with my maid of honor holding up my skirt and the driver holding two umbrellas above me. I get in the car and sit on the back seat and watch with eyes swimming with tears as the other bridesmaids tottered out on their heels, smiles in place, and clambered into the limo. I almost burst into tears at this point and send my bridesmaids into a panic who look at each other with looks of UH OH HOW THE FUCK DO WE CALM HER? written on all over their faces.

Lots of phone calls to the groomsmen. "It's fine!" they say "A little sprinkling!" little did we know that it had rained there too, at that exact moment, and they were all trying to calm us down (LOL)something I would laugh about later. The drive into the city consisted of me constantly twisting around in my seat and looking behind my shoulder to see if we were leaving the dreaded rain behind. I started to feel a little twinge of hope at first...until I noticed a grey shroud hovering over Perth.

We go on a scenic route around Perth to waste time. We drive past Kings Park and notice another wedding, no shelter, standing out in the rain with umbrellas raised and my dad nudges me in the shoulder and says with a smile "Hey! at least we have shelter! Look at those poor people!" I smile.

We get to the park and it has stopped raining. I pick up my skirts and get out of the rain, carefully stepping over the swollen gutter, and gingerly step foot on the rain soaked ground. There are puddles everywhere. I know that I am going to get my $2,600 draped in the mud and I do not care. At that point all I want to do is get to that gazebo as quick as possible and out of the rain!!

I thought I would be nervous walking up the aisle but I was not. It did not enter my head at all. I thought when I saw the gazebo with its chairs and red carpet I would shake and quiver. I did not. I walked down that aisle with a big smile and my head held high. I was so happy to see my husband after our terrible morning. When I stepped into that gazebo and looked at him and all the groomsmen and suddenly all my panic lifted and I was happy...happier than I have ever been in my life.

The wedding starts and all the guests start blowing bubbles and the lift up in the air and swirl around the gazebo, white and glittering, and I am gasping and looking from side to side, happiness blossoming inside me, at this magical moment.

So despite the rain our wedding turned out to be lovely. We managed to get a few photos done in the park before the rain started up again and we had to change locations. The rain had made the park all green and glittering. The lake was glassy and the ground reflective. The grass spikey and wet. It was lovely. In nature like I wanted.

What a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

When Characters Say Bad Things

I am in the middle of a Sookie Stackhouse book at the moment. It's the first one in the series I've read in about a year. I am actually enjoying it. I didn't like the last one I read. I was in the middle of reading this book the other day when Sookie made a comment that surprised me and made me think long and hard about something.

She said that she was on the heavier side of what was considered an acceptable weight (a size 8) and that her friend Arlene had said once that she thought anything about a size 8 was disgusting. Now as a curvy girl currently bouncing between a size 12 and a size 16 (Yes. You heard me right) this made me feel like crap about myself.

I thought to myself "Is this what the author really thinks?" and "Is it right for the author to have her characters say something that fatophobic?" and then I realized that just because Sookie made that comment does not mean it is the view of the author.

I've talked about this topic in university. People need to understand that a character in a book is a different person from the author writing the book. In my first year of university we talked about a passage we read in a book and discussed if the author might be racist for how they portrayed a black character. Most people thought the author probably was. This irritated me. Its wrong to make assumptions like that. I've written some deeply flawed characters. My characters are NOT an extension of me. I am the thing that brings them to life but they really do develop on their own. I have no control over it. If a character of mine turns out to be a racist that doesn't mean I am. People need to remember that.

So once I remembered about that class I took in university I was all right with that line of dialogue in the Sookie Stackhouse book. I did not agree with Sookie's opinion about what was an acceptable weight. It did make me feel bad about myself. Imagine reading a book though filled with politically correct characters. How boring! How tame! Characters should be flawed. They should sometimes say stupid, cringe worthy things. I know I do all the time! It makes them more realistic because it shows that they are not perfect. Sometimes I can be unintentionally racist or say something so dumb that it will have my partner in hysterics. I said something so stupid to him the other week he laughed at me for about ten minutes!

Writers should not be afraid to have their character's say bad things. And I, as a reader, should not take them so much to heart. They are, after all, just characters in a book.

I'm getting married next week!!

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I'm getting married next week!! I've been having a bit of break from writing because of that. I haven't done any work on the rewrites of Deep Embrace for over a week. I'm feeling the itch to return to work which is a good thing. Hopefully, after the wedding, I'll be able to finish the rewrites of Deep Embrace in one big go! Sometimes I've found its good to have a break from writing. It recharges the batteries and reignites my creative spark. I find myself wanting, even needing to do it, instead of forcing myself to sit down and face that dreaded blank screen!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Publish America wants you to like them

Remember a month or so ago when I blogged about Publish America offering to send unpublished manuscripts to JK Rowling and get her to critique them for a small fee? Not surprisingly, a shit storm erupted, because it was a pack o' lies people! Publish America did NOT promise to give anything to JK Rowling! They said that JK Rowling was from Edinburgh (known fact people) and that if she went to the Edinburh book festival there might be a chance that she might meet the people from Publish America and might agree to look at the books. See! They didn't promise anything! They suggest. They hint. They wink their eyes. But they never, ever, promise a thing.

Every now and again I go on their facebook page to see what sort of evil schemes they might be plotting and how many more deluded souls they have managed to hoodwink. Publish America must be slightly worried about their image because they ran a contest on their facebook page urging people to write in and say how much they love Publish America! the winner gets a $100 cheque in the mail!

I still do not understand why ANYONE would ever go with this publisher. All you have to do is a simple google search and you will get dozens of results screaming "THIS PUBLISHER IS A SCAM!!" I mean, Jesus, how much more of a red flag do you need? It's like the old saying goes...if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, then its a freaking duck people!! Do your research. Do not listen to PA's poor attempts to show how much people like them (look! look! this person says we're awesome. It must be true) and go and talk to someone who knows the business.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are bookcases going out of fashion?

IKEA has said that it is going to make its BILLY bookcase come with deeper shelves because it thinks that more people are using them for things like ornaments and photo frames instead of well...books.

Is the printed book slowly dying out? Will there come a time when shops no longer sell bookcases? I am a bit of an IKEA whore. I have dragged my poor, loving boyfriend to that store so many times. I have 2 large bookcases, 1 display cabinet, 1 lamp and 1 small bookcase. Yeeeahhh...I have alot. In my defense I actually use mine for books except for my display cabinet which is mostly for my Sailor Moon figurine and manga collection (Hey everyone needs a hobby).

I personally think that there will come a time when the printed book will become like records. You will still be able to buy them...but in specialty shops only. They will become conversation pieces. Quirky little things. I think ebooks are the future. I love my IKEA bookcases (if I did not have them WHERE would I put all my picture frames and candles as well??) what I do not like about books is how much space they take up in my house. I seriously cannot buy another bookcase. I have no more space for them!

Maybe IKEA is onto something here? Maybe people aren't using bookcases for books anymore. Or at least that is where things are headed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why do I write?

I was talking to my friend on the phone the other day and started talking about what makes me want to write. When I was younger I was driven by the dream of becoming the next J.K Rowling (along with a gazillion other young writers with stars in their eyes)I wanted fame! I wanted money! I wanted to be able to write full time for a living and to be able to go into bookstores and find my books on the shelves.

When I got older I slowly realised that the chances of me being able to make even a decent living off writing were very slim. The chances of me ever reaching J.K Rowling popularity were even MORE slim. I stopped writing to try and be famous. It took time but eventually even the idea of qutting my job to be a full time writer stopped being appealing to me.

Why? Because I knew having all that time to write would probably kill my love of writing. Writing can be very boring sometimes. I will do it for hours and on most days do about 500 words. When I get bored I stop. I learnt a long time ago not to force myself to write. Other writers would call me lazy. I have tried pushing myself to write in the past. It stressed me out and made me get writer's block. You cannot force yourself to be creative. It has to come naturally. I believe the best way for that to happen is to make writing FUN.

And that means not doing it every second of every day. I have days off. I don't do it at night after work. I will maybe write a sentence and then have a 30 minute break. Yeah, it takes me forever to finish a project, so what? At least I finish my projects. Alot of writers don't. I don't care about writing speeds. I see alot of people on the net who proudly claim they can write a novel in a week. Good for them. I wonder how much of what they have written is any good?

Why do I write? For fun. If I don't write at all I am bored. If I write too much it gets boring. It's a delicate balance for me.

Will I ever be super successful? Probably not. Do I care? Yes and no. I want to continue to get published and I will promote what I do manage to get published like crazy. Will I ever be able to live off my writing? I doubt it. But that's okay. For reasons I do not know my brain requires me to do this. It needs this creative outlet. So as long as I continue to find this thing fun I will continue to write.

I've started rewrites!

I finished the rough draft of Deep Embrace last week. It came in at 190 pages and just over 66,000 words long. Not bad! not bad at all! It's a perfect sized little novella. If it had just been a little bit longer I could've been able to market it as a tiny novel. In the past two weeks I have done so much work on it. I rewrote the beginning to include a prologue that shows Helios's kidnapping, wrote an epilogue, and decided to go back and add an extra chapter before the ending. After 12 months I am finally able to begin fixing the problems with Deep Embrace that have worried me for so long. It feels so great! I've started the rewrite of chapter one and it is SO much better than the stupid original version.

I start off in Scylla's cave from Scylla's point of view. Perse, the main character, does not enter until close to the end of chapter one. I've cut out ALOT of pointless description and backstory, which I didn't even realise was nothing but pointless fluff until a couple of days ago. It was a major palm head slap moment. You would think that after all these years of writing I would not be making the same stupid mistakes still, right?

The simple fact is beginnings are HARD. I never really know what I'm doing. I might have an idea of how to start. The image might be there. It's putting it into words that is the tricky bit. Usually, with most writers, we do not get into the real swing of things until one or two chapters in. I acutally read somewhere once to cut out the first chapter of a draft completely. Maybe even two. Cut those out and you will find your true beginning.

They're right too. I have cut out all of that pointless description and have found my true beginning which is with Scylla in her little cave. The rewrite of chapter one has been going so well (I'm barely on page two and I am almost near the point of revealing Perse's sisters!) I might actually be finished by next week. Then all I have to do is rewrite the beginning of chapter two and the beginnings of chapters three and four. The rest should be fine (there are 13 chapters in all).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Authors spamming authors

I joined LinkedIn a while back after the editor at my new publisher sent me a friend request. I was fascinated with the site for a little bit. I got all excited about it and thought it would help me meet people in publishing. I started getting friend requests from all sorts of people in publishing. It didn't take me long to realise that most of these people are just desperate for attention. I have started getting emails from people I know on LinkedIn begging me to buy their books, review their books, like their facebook page...etc..etc...

It is authors spamming authors basically. It makes me want to delete my LinkedIn account. Begging people to purchase your book is not a good way to market yourself as an author. Why? because it annoys people. It become spam. Rubbish. Your emails will begin to be deleted unread. If you want people to purchase your book you need to get yourself out there. Make a website. Get your book reviewed. Get yourself interviewed. Join an author's message board. Put up flyers at your local shops.

You have to make people WANT to read your books. You cannot force them. It is not how it is done. I hate marketing myself. In a perfect world I would have nothing to do with the marketing part of writing. I would just hand over a manuscript when it is done and then go home to start work on the next one. That is not how the world works though. As an author I have to make an effort to promote myself. I have to learn about marketing and business. What I should not be doing is crawling up to people on my knees and with my hands clenched together and shouting "PLEASE! PLEASE BUY MY BOOK!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Who would ever fall for this?

There's a scam publishing house in America called PublishAmerica. They basically publish anything from religious ramblings to doodles on toilet paper, lie and say they edit it, smack a shitty cover on it, and sell it for inflated prices. They con authors into purchasing hundreds of copies of their own books (to "promote them") and claim that they can get their books into bookstore chains when they never do and end up only available online either through their website or places like Amazon. The end result? The only real people who end up buying books through PublishAmerica are the authors themselves. Oh they also own the copyright of the books for about 7 years and if you want out of their contract they'll slap you with a fee or threaten you. I honestly do not know how anyone could ever fall for this group. How could it be more obvious that they are scam artists? What do some people need to be able to figure out out? A giant flashing billboard above their head quarters that reads "WE WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LAUGH AT YOU?"

If you want more proof that these people are con artists check out this page:

Yes, that's right folks, for the tiny sum of $69.00 PublishAmerica will take your books and present them to JK Rowling so she can read them and "tell you what she thinks of them". So, basically, you're paying a large sum of money for what is basically a critique.

WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING?!? Do they honestly think that they will be able to get away with this? Why rope JK Rowling, a woman who is richer than the queen, into their scams? Do they think she will never find out? And if she does she'll just shrug her shoulders and be all right with it?

And secondly, who in the world would pay for this? Who would believe that they will really end up getting a critique from JK Rowling? I bet what they'll get is a generic written response with their name typed in praising them on their great plot and characters without mentioning anything specific from their actual book.

The sad thing is I know alot of people would fall for this scam. It's hard to believe that people could be so stupid but it happens. I had a peek at PublishAmerica's facebook page and saw all the comments from the happy authors and it just makes my heart break to see all these dumb, star stark fools, who are so happy with their publisher, unaware they are scamming them.

One of the first things I learned about publishing is that a publisher must never charge an author for ANYTHING. Not for editing. Cover art. Promotional copies. NOTHING. I figured this out at age 14. I know how desperate the desire can be to be published. The urge to be published can drive people to make alot of stupid mistakes when choosing a publisher. They will pay for services they shouldn't. If they just stopped, took a breath, and did some research they would realise that publishers like PublishAmerica are evil and if they took their time to find the right publisher and work on becoming a better writer publication will eventually find them.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fantasy castles are the bane of my existance

I think the thing that annoys me most about my chosen genre is trying to describe grand, sprawling fantasy castles in graphic detail. I suck at it. I always draw a blank and end up describing some weird, strange looking thing, that I try to make sound like a weird cross between Hogwarts Castle and an ancient Greek Temple. In Deep Embrace there are two "castles" that are mentioned. One I describe as looking like a cluster of large bubbles (yeah how stupid does that sound) and another one is a crescent moon shaped pit at the bottom of the ocean. That one is driving me nuts because I do not know what the right word to describe it would be. Is it a cavern? A fissure? A pit? In my mind I see it as a crescent moon shaped valley at the bottom of the ocean that has been carved out of the sea floor on purpose. So it is NOT a natual structure. Its walls are pocketed with tunnels that lead to a series of underground chambers some which have air in it (again by design). At the moment I change between calling it a cavern and a pit. I am not totally sold on that description though and might change it in the rewrites. I have almost finished the second last chaper and have only maybe about 10 more pages left to go. I've pretty much described to rewrite the first chapter and cut out the Scylla battle (it will not be a little shoving match) and change the beginning of chapter two.

In other news I have been going over edits for Echoes in the Wind and that is progressing very nicely. I can't wait to see the final version!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I would have to get writer's block at the end of my story...

I am about a chapter and a half away from finishing Deep Embrace so naturally my brain has come to a screeching hault and has decided this would be a great time to get writers block. I know exactly what I want to write. The images are there in my brain. It is putting them into words that is the problem. I think this is the most irritating type of writer's block. To know what you want to write but to not be able to put the images into words would be a bit like trying to eat food that is invisible. You can smell it. You can feel it. But you can't see it.

Deep Embrace has crossed the 60,000 word mark. I am very happy. It's still technically a novella. It probably has another 5,000- 10,000 words to go. Once editing is done the whole thing will probably be around the 40k mark. Hopefully more. I am proud of it. It was a fun, interesting experience. One of the things that surprised me the most about it was describing the mermaids swimming and what the ocean looks like. I seem to be forever asking myself the question "What description is neccessary?" and "Is this too much description?"

I still have not made my mind up what my next project would be. I would like to explore the character of Scylla more but I have to come up with a plot first. I have the outline for In Your Footsteps done. I'm not sure if I want to tackle that yet. It will have a sad ending. Not only are those difficult to market but it is less fun for me to write. But I have to stay true to the myths.

Back to my writer's block... I hate writers who claim that writers block does not exist. Oh come on, it so does. We cannot be creative all the time. It takes a hellva lot of brain juice to do what we do. When I have writers block I am pretty kind to myself. I could flog and punish like other writers do and chain my butt to my chair until the cogs in my brain slowly start to spin and the words trickle out of my bleeding fingertips. I could do that but I won't. I view writers block as mental exahusation. If I am blocked I simply lower my expectations for that day. Instead of aiming for over 500 words I will aim for 200. If I do nothing then that is okay. Sometimes a day's rest is all that is needed to overcome writers block.

I have not done any writing today and I am not sure if I will. When I look at it I cannot think of how to continue. It will come to me eventually though. It always does.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Scylla Romance

One of the things I love about writing is how plots and characters tend to come alive after a while and go in exciting new directions and evolve into things I never planned. In Deep Embrace the character of Scylla has done just that. She was meant to be a plot device but from her first scene she came off as sad and tortured. Scylla is a woman who has the lower body of an octopus with six wolf heads ringing her waist. In Deep Embrace her upper body is quite beautiful. I see her as having flawless white skin, black hair that goes down to her feet and green eyes. She was turned into a sea monster after she rejected the advances of a God. Ever since then she has taken to living under the ocean to get away from hordes of angry mortals who want nothing more than to cut her head off because they think she is a monster who eats children.

Scylla does not want to harm anyone but is willing to do anything to defend herself including killing men, women and children, if they attack her first. So, in other words, if you send your battle ship in her direction or dare to enter her cave, man oh man will she kick your butt.

I am seriously considering making my next romantic fantasy book about her. She has a fascinating background and will be so much fun to write with her temper and emotional insecuries. Scylla knows she will have a soul mate one day. He will be a mortal man. She fears he will never accept her or worse that he will be so frightened and disgusted by her appearance that he will try to kill her. The last thing in the world she wants to do is to be forced to kill her own soul mate.

If I do her book it will be a bit like Beauty and the Beast only the beast will be the woman. I guess that makes the man the beauty, huh? Another reason why I want to do her story is I want to explore the character of her sister as well. Her sister is represented as a whirlpool in the myths. I have this idea of her being a victim just like Scylla. She was once a beautiful woman too but got turned into a whirlpool by an angry God after rejecting him. I have this image in my head of Scylla looking down into a whirlpool and seeing the reflection of her sister's face in it.

The story will be quite sad in alot of parts. Obviously, in the end, the curse on Scylla will be broken by her soul mate, I don't know how yet but it will probably involve him going after the God who originally cast it. If the story goes well I will probably go on to do one about Scylla's sister afterwards.

Why am I thinking about doing a story about Scylla? I want to start writing less stand aloen stories. I have really enjoyed writing Deep Embrace and had the idea to write some stories about Perse's sister's to create some sort of series. But then I thought about Scylla and decided she would be more interesting. I thought about connecting Deep Embrace and the Scylla story through the word "Deep" in the titles but after a brain storming session I decided that would be too difficult.

So I am planning on possibly starting a series of romantic fantasties about the Oceanids/Sea Gods and Goddesses. I will still do other stand alones and maybe do series about other types of Gods. At the moment though I think I will stay and prance around in the ocean.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let me tell you my evil plan

I am reading the latest Stephanie Plum book at the moment and I'm at the point where the bad guy makes his predicted appearance in her flat and explains the reasons why he turned to the dark side of the force and happily describes how he killed so and so and whatshisname for a couple of bucks or something.

It is such a massive cliche. If I was a super villian I would not waste time explaining myself to my nemesis. Oh no. I would just hit them with a broom or whatever else I had handy and let the scuffles begin. I would not be interested in explaining myself. Yes, I suppose, I might want to boast a little, that's understandable...but in reality, really, wouldn't the baddie and the goodie just run at each other and smack each other up without having a nice chat first?

Cliches are a big pet peeve of mine. It is lazy writing. It makes your stories predictable. I knew who the bad guy was in Smokin' Seventeen almost from the beginning. But then again the Stephanie Plum books run on a formula that is very predictable (but hey, it works and people like it) so picking out the baddie was not a hard one for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A slight flaw with ebooks...

I started using my ebook reader yesterday for the first time since I got it in May. For a cheap peice of shit it's actually quite good. The screen is bright and very well lit, it has nice colours, its not hard on the eyes, changes the page quickly, saves where I'm at and is no real different than reading a regular book. I've decided to try and stop buying books (with a few exceptions) because I have NO room left for them at home. I have 3 bookcases (one is huge and takes up an entire wall) and I am out of space. Again. I'm going to do a purge sometime soon and dump a shitload of old books on the door step of some Good Sammy shop somewhere maybe. Or palm some off to family I don't know.

I go to the online shop Kobo to buy my ebooks. I spent $20 on one which is not that much cheaper than what I would've been able to get it in the shops. I was happy to get it right away though and have no regrets. It's one less book that I will have to try and find space to squeeze into my many bookcases. I've been googling another book I want to get this morning and have noticed a flaw with the ebook industry.

For some reason the book I want is not available in ebook form. I have come to this conclusion because it is not on any websites. I don't know why. All the others in the series are available. I have a look to see if there are any Australian ebook stores. I found one. ONE. Where the fuck are the Aussie ebook stores? Hello? Anyone out there? Why are all of them in America? And some of the American ones don't even do business with people outside their country! How the hell do people expect ebooks to be able to take off if all the ebook stores are either restricted to one or two countries or even more irritingly restricted to one type of ereader? (I'm looking at you Amazon and Barnes and Noble....)

So here I am, trying to change to ebooks, trying to make less clutter in my house and be more environmentally friendly, and I can't even find the book I want in ebook format or a single Aussie ebook store. If this is what the future is going to be like with online stores restricting the sale of ebooks or even worse region locking them like they do with video games and dvds (most stupid thing ever!!) how in the hell are ebooks going to take over paper books? Jesus. It's like the publishing industry is determined to die, but at the same time, is clinging to life. Either make the change fully to ebooks and make them easily assessible to all or for Christ's sake make paper books less expensive!

I went to some online bookstores and one had the book I want for $41 (they are kidding themselves if they think I would pay that) another had it for $32 (not bad) and one had it for $28 (okay). You know what is going to happen? I'm going to end up getting it off Amazon for $15 and paying about $10 delivery. I'll get it in about a fortnight from America. One Aussie website said to expect delivery in 10 to 15 days. I'm sorry, but if I'm buying something from my own country, it should not take that long to come interstate. If it's coming from overseas, fine, but interstate? I should get it in a week.

And the Australian retail sector wonders why people shop online....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Super 8 *spoilers*

I went and saw the movie Super 8 the other week out of boredom. I had the weekend to myself because the other half was working. I thought I would go into the city and try and hunt down some acceptable wedding shoes. That was pointles. I do not like to wear heels. I find them uncomfortable and I have the balance of a drunk. If the heel is too big I stagger around, roll my ankle, and usually walk into a wall. I would like some flat shoes for my wedding, as you can imagine. I find it uncomfortable enough to wear heels to work. Like hell I'm going to wear them on my wedding day and potentially fall over in my dress, flash my sexy underthings to the world, or even worse fall over while trying to dance in them coupled with a cinderella dress. All the stores I went too either had winter boots or giant, over priced, monster heels. I am going to try looking again after winter. The whole experience left me pretty irritated though. I want the perfect pair of pretty flats (NOT BALLERIA FLATS!!) to complete my whole look. I've got a feeling that is going to be hard. Very hard. So hard I will probably have to go out to some weird special shoe store. Oh and did I mention I have size 11 feet as well? Yeah. Helps, doesn't it?

Anyhoo, after that fun experience, I went and saw Super 8 to finish my afternoon. It was an all right movie. A bit too young for me. But the was "okay" and I hesitate to even say that. It had good characters but it was SO UNREASLITIC. For example (SPOILERS PEOPLE!!) in one scene a man drives his car into the direct path of a train, it hits and explodes, derails the entire train, and then the kids magically find the driver ALIVE and covered in a little bit of blood and scratches STILL INSIDE HIS CAR which has been split in two. Right. Okay. So they expect me to believe that despite driving his car straight into an incoming train, his car exploding, and then the train derailing, this man is alive? and not even burnt to a crisp? Who the hell wrote this movie?

I did a post a little while back about fantasy and reality and asked the question how realistic should a fantasy be? I think realism should play a part. A story has to be believable regardless of what it is about. I don't care if the characters are talking teddy bears or are being chased by space aliens. If the story is not believable it causes the person to take a step back, shake their head, and say "That would never happen!" It is poor, lazy writing, folks. Poor.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Text Speak

I really hate it when people write in text speak on the internet. I didn't really mind it when people first started using it when I was a teenager. Back then the most people used were BRB or ASL or LOL in chat rooms. Now people are using text speak in real life and inserting text speak into sentences with the King's English. One of my most despised "words" that I've seen people using is "I lol'ed" now I am fond of using the occasional text speak word (WTF pretty much describes how I feel when I see people write things like I lol'ed) I draw the line when people start inserting text speak into every day conversations. I mean, come on, lol'ed? When people say things like that I have an urge to grab them by the shoulders and shake them and scream "SPEAK ENGLISH!!" at them.

It's laziness basically. Facebook is real bad. Some people use text speak so bad I find it hard to understand them sometimes. I hate it when write 2 instead of to and shorten words to a couple of letters or add an s or a z on the end of them. I really REALLY hate it when I see famous people write in text speak. I feel like it is setting such a bad example. I know, I know, I sound like an old fuddy duddy, but it's true!! Is it so hard for people to write are instead of the letter r? or you instead of u? How many children are growing up right now with retarded English skills? Text speak is almost becoming a seperate language. Maybe eventually it will be called 'Teenager Code' or something and the only people who will be able to understand it will under educated doucebags who sit on facebook all day.

Writer Machine

One of the most common questions posted on writer's message board is "How long does it take for you to write a novel?" I've noticed alot of writers have developed super human speeds and can churn out lengthy tomes in days, weeks, a few short months and in the case of a few supermen in less than 24 hours. I seem to be of a dying breed that takes over a year to finish a single project (I can do a short story in about 3 months or less). In the past authors would take decades to finish a single book and would sometimes have long breaks in between projects. It seems that modern writers think that in order to be successful an author must be able to write a decent sized novel (usually above 100k) and edit it in three months or less. If an author dares to take longer they usually try to explain it by saying "I have kids...a job..." as if finishing a novel in six months instead of three is not a huge achievement.

We live in a world where people can download music instantly and can order anything they want online. People want things now. They do not want to wait for anything. That includes novels. There seems to be this growing conception among writers that if you cannot finish half a dozen books in a single year you will not have a successful career. You will be labelled slow. People will lose interest in your work and forget about you.

It has taken must just over a year to write nearly 50k of my current project. I am predicting that it will be over 100k in rough draft form and probably between 70 and 80k in the final version. I am incredibly pleased with the time I have taken to write this thing. I have doubled my writing speed from last year. I have pretty much written a perfect sized novel in a year. This from a girl who used to take five years to write a novel. You can see why I am happy with myself.

And yet I am constantly made to feel as if my speed is pathetic. Do I need to be some sort of writing machine to be able to survive in this industry? Do I need to be able to churn out at least two books a year to keep my career alive? Is there something wrong with wanting to enjoy the act of writing and not force myself to hurdle down the road of publishing like an out of control car?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whispers in the Dark Update!

I got a surprise when I checked my hotmail this morning. Someone had left a comment on my very rough "trailer" I made for Whispers in the Dark all the way back in 2009 before it came out. I actually think my trailer is not that bad considering I had no money, no real good programs to make it with, and only a rough soundclip of thunder to add onto it to make it sound cool. The trailer can be seen here

I thought the comment was really nice. They said they loved my book and would recommend it to anyone who likes Greek mythology. This makes me so happy. It's great for me to know that people enjoyed my little short story, that people did buy it, and that they actually took the time to google Whispers in the Dark. I am looking forward to Echoes in the Wind coming out so much. I am going to get my sister Katie to make the trailer. She's really good at making videos so the trailer should hopefully look much MUCH better than the one I did for Whispers in the Dark. No pressure, Katie! :-)

I am much more proud of Echoes in the Wind then I am of Whispers in the Dark. I feel that I have improved as a writer. The story is longer and much more darker than Whispers. It is a novella so the plot and characters are fleshed out much more. Whispers in the Dark was an experiment. I wanted to see if I could write a short story and get it published. I wrote it for a magazine but through a weird twist of fate it became an ebook. Getting it published as an ebook made me realise that I really wanted to write longer works. I got to hold Whispers in the Dark in my hands as a printed book and that was awesome but I didn't feel like it was a huge achievement because it was so small. I decided I am not really a short story writer. I want to write novels. I want to see my name written on the spine of a book. So you can see why I am more excited about Echoes in the Wind. It is an improvement on Whispers in the Dark because it is a novella. But I know I can do better. I know I can write something even longer.

I actually think Deep Embrace might stand a good chance of getting close to 80 to 100 thousand words in its rough draft. You know what that means? It will be a real honest to God novel! After editing it should be between 50 and 70 thousand words (god willing) which is the PERFECT size for a small novel. My problem in the past with writing was doing works that were too long. Atlantis Reborn clocked in at over one thousand pages in one draft. Yes, that's right, I wrote a phone book. I feel as if I have evolved enough as a wirter that I am now at the point where I can write a perfect sized novel of between 200 and 300 pages long. Deep Embrace might be the one. The question I have to ask myself now though is do I want to market it to ebook publishers or proper agents? I really don't know the answer to that one.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What is so wrong with swear words?

I was reading some of the reviews for Go the Fuck to Sleep on amazon and can't understand why so many people react in horror at the thought of someone reading that book to a small child. I don't understand what people find so offensive about swear words. Maybe it is because I am a writer, but to me, they are just words. How can words hurt me? How can they hurt anyone? How did a small selection of words become so taboo, so outrageous, that people feel the need to gasp in horror if I let the f-bomb slip in front of a small child? Repeat after me people : THEY.ARE.JUST.WORDS.

I agree that a person should never say a swear word in anger to another person and especially around children, but that could be said for any word, not just swear words. I can be delightfully insulting without using a single swear word. Why is inserting the word fuck into a sentence so unforgivable to somepeople?

Some of the reviews of Go the Fuck to Sleep are hilarious. "I would NEVER read this book to a child!" really? because I would. What do people think is going to happen if someone reads this book to their child? do they think they will get a tattoo on their arm and become a drug dealer? a hooker? a chain smoker? I mean, seriously people, saying the odd swear word around your child is not abuse and will not corrupt them for life. Now, if you call them a fucking idiot every day, that is different. That is verbal abuse. But shouting 'Fuck!' when you stub your toe in front of your off spring does not a bad parent make. It means you are human.

Some people are saying that only morons would read their child go the fuck to sleep. Sigh. Once again, I ask the question, why? I would read that book to my child if they were very young, say under two, because you know why? If read in a pleasant sounding voice they will not associate that word with something bad. Hell most kids do not even know what that word means until at least eight years old.

I really hate the bubble-wrap world we live in. People are so determined to shield children from everything. They are convinced that swear words, boobies, sex and violence will corrupt their children. My parents said to my recently what would I do if my child (when I have one) falls down my staircase. My response: they will learn not to play on the stairs then. I will be a good parent. I know I will. I am just not going to be one of those politically correct, over protective, hysterical parents who don't let their child run up slides at the park or jump off swings because they are afraid they will get hurt. I did all of those things as a kid. Yeah, they were stupid, and yeah I could have gotten hurt and I did a few times but that is how kids learn. Through doing dumb stuff.

I know when I do have kids alot of people are going to find my way of parenting really hard to understand. Why is it so weird that I do not have a problem with swearing? How does that make me a bad person? I'm sorry but when people tell me off for swearing I am gripped with an urge to shake my head, laugh under my breath and mutter 'Fucking idiot. It's just a word.' I do not swear like a sailor and I am polite to try and not do it in front of others but when I do let one drop it does irriate me when people tell me off about it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are bookstores destined to die out?

I read a news article today that predicted that with the exception of a few small stores most bookstores will die out in Australia within a few years. I actually think this is true, but I don't think it will happen that quickly, I think it will take a little bit longer. The world is becoming more digital. Alot of people do not want to buy CD's anymore they just download their music off itunes. There used to be alot of CD stores around but they have slowly been disappearing. I didn't really notice it to be honest. It was only after Jaylani pointed it out to me this morning that I realised he was right. I still like to buy actual CDs. I don't trust computers. I'm always afraid they will break down or lose their memory or that I might spill something on them and then POOF there goes everything.

I think its stupid to put all of your eggs into one basket. Alot of people like to download movies these days as well. Once again, stupid. If someone steals your computer or it breaks down there goes your whole movie collection.

Well, enough about me, back to bookstores. Are they going to die out? Yes, I think they will, newspapers and magazines are not far behind them either. I think eventually ebooks and ezines will become the norm due to the rise of smart phones and tablet computers. Have you ever noticed how much the world is slowly becoming like the world of Star Trek? In Star Trek they have "datapads" which are pretty much tiny touch screen tablet computers. They use them to record things on, research things, read books on. That's where the world is headed in my mind. I think eventually I will start to see more people reading ebooks on the train instead of paper books.

The rise of ebooks and the fall of brick and mortar bookstores has me questioning which path I should take in publishing. It has always been the dream to get published by one of the large, successful, well known print publishers. Is that still a good choice? Would it be wiser to stick to epublishers? Who knows.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The God and Goddess of Darkness

I'm at the bit in Deep Embrace when Perse finally meets the baddies Nyx and Erebus the God and Goddess of Darkness/Nightime. I've been building up to it for a long time. The battle scene will take place in almost total darkness which should be interesting, difficult, but hopefully fun to write. I write so many battle scenes in my stories its always an effort to think of new and exciting ways to write them. A battle scene in the dark should not be as hard as the one I did earlier on in Deep Embrace between Perse and several large, hard to describe, violent sea monters! Ah that was fun! No, really, it was. A bit difficult, yeah, but mostly a fun challenge.

I have this awesome idea about how to describe Nyx and Erebus. Since they are the God and Goddess of Darkness (I do not mean evil I literally mean darkness. They are the God and Goddess of night) I am going to make them an attractive black couple with beautiful long silver hair and glowing silver eyes. If they are exposed to any light stronger than a candle flame or moonlight they turn to stone so they will be appearing to Perse in the dark. I'm going to make them glow though. Now that is going to be cool. They will have a silver aura surrouding them which will look alot like moonlight. They are going to be beautiful, mystical, and creepy.

A part of me has been worrying that some people might take offence that I will be writing two characters from Greek mythology that are traditionally protrayed as white as two black people. The reason I am doing it is because I like for the phsyical appearance of my characters to be symbolitic. I want people to be able to look at them and know straight away what sort of God or Goddess they are. For example: Perse is a mermaid so she has blue hair and a blue tail to represent the sea and gold eyes to represent the rising sun, which is Helios, her soul mate. Helios has red hair (fire) and blue eyes (the ocean) which is supposed to represent Perse.

Another reason I am making Nyx and Erebus black is because I love writing about black characters in fantasy novels with brightly coloured hair and eyes. The main character in my last book, Echo, had black skin and green eyes and green hair. I thought she was beautiful and exotic and I'm crossing my fingers like mad that she will be chosen to go on the front cover of Echoes in the Wind.

When I think of what Nyx and Erebus will look like in my book I think to myself 'Wow, they are going to be so pretty, so eerily beautiful' they are black because their skin represents the colour of the night sky and their silver hair and silver eyes represents the moonlight and the stars. I know I will probably offend some people, maybe, but that's not going to stop me from writing them the way that I want. I know that I will never please every single person who reads my book. That's okay. I accept that. I just hope people do not jump to the wrong conclusions about me and think that I made Nyx and Erebus black because I think that black skin = darkness/evil. Not at all! :-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Borders bookstores shutting in Australia

I read online today that the rest of the Borders stores left in Australia will be shutting including the one in Perth!! I cannot believe that every single Borders store in the country is going to be shutting down. It was shocking when they closed half of the stores. I really don't know how to feel about this. The company has gone bankrupt, and not surprisingly, considering the prices they charge for their books. I went into one not long ago to look at books for how to use an exercise ball. They had one for about $40 I took one look at it and left. Sorry. Too much. I could get the same book on Amazon for probably less than $20. Sad, but true. If you over price things people will not buy your stuff!!

I feel really sad about my state's one and ONLY Border's store closing. I like living in Perth, but it is so small, so boring, sometimes it feels like I am living in a lonely little backwater somewhere. The Borders in the city was one of my favourite places to browse and shop. It was one of the best stores in the mall. I don't know what the hell they will replace it with but it will leave a big gaping hole in the shops there. We used to have two Angus and Robinson's, one Dymocks and Border's there, now there is only the Dymocks store left. I'm sure they're jumping up and down happily right about now. "Huzzah! No more Borders! Huzzah!" something to that effect. When Borders first opened a few years back I wondered how the other bookstores in town would survive. They did, though, and like I said, Dymocks must be laughing now. I hope they do not close. That would mean having no bookstores in the city at all!! Is that what society is heading towards though? Maybe.

In addition to their sky high prices, Borders went down because people are buying things online and getting ebooks. Is the print industry slowly dying? Will the book end up going the way of the cassette player? Will it become so out dated, so hippyish, so old fashioned, that the only place people will be able to buy books in the future will be from tiny, quirky little shops or antique stores? Possibly.

I feel like I am standing at a crossroads. Do I take the traditional publishing route with my next novel and attempt to get my book in a brick and mortar store like Borders? or do I continue to plod down the road of e-books and see if success awaits me down the path? The risk factors are about the same, to be honest. People say that the chances of success are higher if an author is published by a big house like Penguin or something. That's not really true. I could get published by one of them and still not earn a dime. Frankly, part of me is wondering if it would be wise to stick with ebooks, because what if I get a book pubilshed and then in ten, twenty years time, there are no more bookstores? What then? My book will vanish. Now, if it were an ebook....

Deep Embrace is 1 year old this month

I started writing Deep Embrace one year ago this month. Ah, god, that also means its been one year since I left my last job. How time flies, eh? I can't believe it's been a year. Isn't it funny how time can pass so slowly in some jobs but in others it goes by so quickly it's as if you slept the whole time?

As for my writing, my speed has improved over the past year, and at the same time has pretty much remained the same. It took me over a year to write Echoes in the Wind and that little puppy ended up under 100 pages once it was completely finished. Deep Embrace, on the other hand, is almost 45,000 words long and nearly 130 pages. So I have written a longer peice in the same amount of time, which is good, but I still have not breeched 200 pages or finished the damn thing. I will soon though!

I think I will be finished on the rough draft of Deep Embrace in 3 months which will be perfect timing because that will be around the time I will be assigned an editor for Echoes in the Wind and it will be very close to my wedding.

What are my goals for next year? I would like to make an effort to improve my writing speed some more. I have a daily goal of over 200 words. I usually do between 400 and 500 words a day, sometimes more, but never less than 200. I force myself to meet that tiny goal even if it means writing until my fingers bleed and pulling out large tuffs of my hair. I know it doesn't sound like a very large goal but writing, for me, is like mental torture sometimes. It's like giving birth every day. Try it sometime. As someone famous once said 'Writing is easy. Just open a vein.' DAMN STRAIGHT!!

I know that In Your Footsteps will probably take me another year, maybe even a little longer, but if I can I would like to be past 42,000 thousand words in half the time it took me with Deep Embrace, so that would probably mean upping my daily word limit by another 200 words. A pain in the ass but not impossible.

The dream would be able to finish a proper sized novel in less than 12 months. Finishing one in 6 months would be awesome. Some writers are able to do one in a month, a week, or even a few days, but they are insane. Insane, I say!! I try to be a pleasurable task masker to my brain. I encourage it to write by whispering sweet nothings to it and promising rewards, like playing Wii when I get home, if I can just meet my daily word goal. I do not want to push myself so hard to finish something (like a novel in a month) that writing no longer becomes fun.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Your Footsteps will be a novel

I've decided that my next project In Your Footsteps will be a novel. I have not written a novel since I finished my 1,000 page plus tome Atlantis Reborn in 2008.
I took a break from writing novels to experiment with shorter fiction and to see if I could improve my writing and get something small published. I think I am a much better writer now than I was in 2008.

I've learnt alot about plotting and characters and I think I have the skills now to write a well plotted, nicely worded novel between 75,000 and 100,000 words long. That is the goldilock's zone people. The perfect sized novel. Atlantis Reborn was too long to get published and while it did have potential (or so I thought at the time) the plot was in shambles, going in two many directions at once, and the characters shit. I tried to do too much at once basically. I had an epic fantasy on my hands. I poured my heart and soul into it for about five years, rewrote it about seven times, but in the end I just had to move onto something else because my passion for the story had fizzled out and I knew in my heart that it was not my best work. I knew I could do better.

I think I will be able to make In Your Footsteps a nice little novel. I do not want it to be huge, but I do not want it to be too short either, so somewhere between 300 and 400 pages long. Deep Embrace is almost a novel. It's about 120 pages long at the moment and has just passed the halfway mark. I am hoping the final draft will be above 40 thousand words which makes it a fantastic little ebook but too short to be sent to a traditional publisher by just a tad. So frustrating!

As flawed as Atlantis was, I actually got a request from a New York agent for it. I'll never forget the rejection I got a few days later though. It said 'I am really disappointed. I was really excited about the idea for your story but your writing let me down. I will have to pass.' SO FRIGGING CLOSE!!!

As rejections go, it was not that bad, the agent had seen potential in my query, which is a good thing, but said my writing needed improving. This was years ago by the way. I have not queried agents since about 2006/2007 maybe. I know I have improved in my writing since then. When I look back at my old stuff it is so bad I have to fight the urge to slap a hand against my forehead and shout 'Ah, ye Gods, it is terrible!' Thank Goddness I had the intelligence to banish Atlantis Reborn so it would never see the light of day again.

Since it takes me about a year to write a project, I should be able to begin writing In Your Footsteps towards the end of this year or early next year, which means it should be done late 2012 or early 2013.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You can't please everyone

I'm still reading that thread on that message board about how to write dialogue for black people realistically. The poor writer rewrote his passage and posted it again for critique and is still be labelled a racist simply because he stated his character goes to a mostly black high school. How is that racist? Sigh. Writers need to learn to not post thigns for critque to seek approval or praise. I'm really bad at this. Just yesterday I wrote what I thought was an awesome passage and had to fight the urge to post it for critique because I wanted to be showered with praise.

I didn't do it because I thought to myself 'I should be posting my work to get ideas on how to imrpove it not to be told the sun shines out of my ass.' You would think I would have learnt that lesson by now, huh? Everyime I post stuff for critique it always gets ripped to shreds and leaves me questioning if I have any talent at all. Despite being painful, in the end I always find it a good experience, because it forces me to question my writing and my decisions and think about how I can improve as a writer. It's nice to be told "Oh, you're so talented!" but it's also nice to get honest, naked opinions sometimes, even if they can be sometimes a wee bit harsh.

One thing I have learnt as a writer is that you cannot please everyone. There will always be someone who will be insulted by your work, who might find it sexist or racist or god know's what. They will call you names, give you poor reviews, generally make you feel like crap, but it's all part of being a writer. You have to accept that everyone has different opinions. If you try to please everyone you will just end up ripping out all of your hair and screaming like a crazy person.

Always listen to other opinions, no matter how harsh, and try to learn from them. Do not try to please everyone though because it will never happen. There are only three people a writer should aim to please: themself, their agent, and their publisher.

Writing dialects

I'm the middle of reading a long locked thread on a message board about how to write black characters and to make their dialect and language sound believable. Well, not surprisingly, the thread dived into the racism debate, but it provides good reading. How important is it to for writers to write their characters with dialects? I have never done it. I would find it too hard and would worry that people could understand what they were saying.

If a character is written with a dialect or speaks with slang is that a racist sterotype? I think people throw around the word racist far too easily these days. The world has become too politically correct. I don't think it's racist to write a character, especially a black one, with a dialect or to include slang in their speech. It can be a cliche or a sterotype though and that is something all writer's must avoid.

For example I am Australian. I do not say "G-day, Mate!" or "Crikey!" or call my friends "Mate!" but I know other Australians who do. It does irritate me when I see Australian characters on American television shows who have the cockey accent and say "Mate" and "G-day" every two seconds. It's such a big fat cliche!!

Dialects and slang should be used like other forms of description. Less is more. If you put too much in you risk coming across as racist and being cliched and encouraging sterotypes. If you do it just right though you can make a believable character. In the book I am reading at the moment the main character is from the South in America. The author slips in her accent every so often in bits of dialogue and even has her slip into french a few times. It's really good and believable.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Women in romantic fiction

I'm reading a romance book at the moment and it's making my inner feminist growl a little. I've read alot of books by this author and all of them have the same basic cookie cut out characters. The man will usually be an alpha male, protective, honourable, but deadly to his enemies. The woman is usually delicate, but fiesty, and the two engage in a tango where the man tries to tame the woman and get her to settle down for a life of marriage and motherhood.

It's the same in this novel and it's bugging me a little. The hero is constantly thinking 'This woman will take alot of effort to tame' and that she will 'cause him trouble with her independence streak' and that she 'better get used to the idea of marriage and bearing his children' and that he 'needs to remind himself that she is observant and smart' The woman is being painted as someone that needs to be controlled, to be tamed, to be protected, because God Forbid she goes off on her own without a man around or makes her own decisions or doesn't want to get married. God forbid!!!

I'm getting a bit sick of reading romances like these. It seems like every single one I pick up has a broody, protective male in them, who wants nothing more than to throw his wild, untamed woman over his shoulder and take her back to his cave where she will be out of danger and can be bare foot and pregnant. They treat them like children basically. It's annoying!!

The weird thing is these stories are written by women. Are these the type of men women really like to dream about? Burly, tough, controlling alpha men? I don't think I would last too long in a relationship like that.

Stupid computer!

I came home last night and turned my computer on. It decided to be a little shit and not load for about two hours. I hate my peice of shit computer. Most of the time it works fine even though it is missing a backspace key, has a habit of freezing, throwing up the blue screen of death, and having trouble remembering where I've saved word documents...other THAN ALL's fine. No, really. Every once in a while it will have trouble loading and I'll sit on the edge of the couch chewing on my fingernails and thinking to myself "This is it. My computer has died and it has taken my stories with it." If I get really stressed I'll start moaning, pulling on my hair, stalking around the house, screaming in frustration, crying, or rambling "It will be okay. It will be okay. I have a back up from three months ago..." I had to put a dollar in the tantrum jar last night because I got so worked up. Yeah...we have a tantrum jar in our house...don't ask....

I know I should always keep an up to date back up of my stories but I never do. I have a bad memory so I always forget. The one thing that always reminds me to back up my stories is when my computer freaks out like it did last night. Once it starts working again, and it always does, I'll whip out my thumb drive and anxiously copy and paste my little baby onto the stupid thing.

Last night we deicided that I should switch computers and use Jaylani's. I'm now in the process of transferring all of my crap onto his. I feel weird about it though. It's not MY computer. I want my own computer. I miss my old computer. Yeah, it's a piece of crap, but I'm used to it. Jay's feels weird. His keyboard is all different. I'll get used to it...I suppose...but it's not the same. I need my own machine. I'm a writer. I've been putting off getting a new one for months because of the wedding and the honey moon (seriously how could I afford one on top of all that?) I'm going to get one next year (god willing) and at some point hopefully, please, get my stupid teeth fixed finally...

The lesson in this blog post, my little writers? Get a damn decent computer. Get one that you can trust will work each day so you do not have to constantly back up everything. I should be able to trust that my stupid machine is going to switch on when I press power. But just to be safe do back up your stuff. Loosing a novel to the black hole of computer death would be a bit like loosing a baby. It's not a fun thing to think about.

Monday, May 23, 2011

No original stories

I'll never forget when I came up with the title for Whispers in the Dark. I was walking through Perse and it came to me in a flash of inspiration. I got so excited. I thought it was brilliant! perfect! nothing could be better! It wasn't until after Whispers in the Dark got published that I saw this title has been used hundreds of times in books, films, you name it. Suddenly my oh-so-original title was not so original!

This happens all the time in fiction. Chances are someone has already come up with your title, your plot, your characters....yep, all been done before! Hell, I googled my current book's title and managed to find an unpublished peice of work called Deep Embrace that was also about a mermaid falling in love with a man. Crap!

I'm not worried though. There are no original stories in fiction. The trick is to take old concepts and take them in new, exciting directions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fantasy and reality

How rooted in reality does fantasy have to be? In Deep Embrace all of the action takes place under the ocean. I had one scene which took place in an underwater cave that had stalactites in it. I had them fall on characters during a fight scene. I ended up taking them out after someone pointed out that they would not be in an underwater cave because they need to be in open air to form. Oops! Bad writer!

It never really occured to me to do much research on ocean caves. I have looked at photos and try to use them as a basic example. That's about it for research. I don't like to do too much research. I spent about 3 years researching a series of books. I never got round to writing anything but I wrote pages and pages of background story, character bios, and gathered loads of random pictures that I put in files that I ended up never looking at again.

I can only world build for so long before I get bored and take a swan dive into the act of writing itself. I like to let my stories evolve naturally. I will write an outline and character biographies and that's about it.

Ever since that critique made me realise that I was writing unrealistic sea caves I worry about people not being able to read my stories if the settings are not believable. In the scene I am writing right now the main character Perse has entered the underwater lair of Nyx and Erebus which is a giant crescent moon shaped crevice in the sea floor that is riddled with tunnels which lead deep into the sea crust. The tunnels lead to underground caverns full of air. I KNOW these would never exist in real life so I actually made a point to have Perse mention that. She thinks to herself how these had to have been created because such a thing could never have developed naturally. Now this, boys and girls, is called covering your ass. Hopefully when people read that scene they will not be gripped with the urge to scream 'THAT WOULD NEVER EXIST!' and throw my book across the room.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Go the fuck to sleep

I stumbled across this article yesterday about a picture book for adults called GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP which is about a father's desperate attempts to get his three year old daughter to go to bed.

It's funny, sad, and genius. The author wrote it in a moment of desperation and exhaustion one night when he could not get his daughter to go to bed. He jokingly posted on facebook that his next book would be called go the fuck to sleep and got a heap of positive responses so he went ahead and published the thing as a children's e-book. A CHILDREN'S EBOOK.

It has not been published in print yet but it is already at the top of the amazon's best seller list and the movie rights have been optioned by Fox. I don't know what I find more shocking about this story: how one random idea can become bottled lightning and attract so much attention, how a book could achieve so much fame and hype before being published by a relative unknown writer, or that the thing was first released as a frigging e-picture book.

The e-picture book is a rare item. Some online publishers do them but for the most part it is still struggling to emerge because children want to hold books in their hands so they can rip them, draw on them, take them to school, sleep with them, etc. It is harder to make them sit on your lap in front of the computer and stare at a picture-ebook on the screen and keep their attention.

I think picture e-books will one day become popular, the technology just has to catch up a little, so kids will be able to read them on ipads and things in beautiful colour with sounds and video.

As for this book, what amazes me is the number of people who think it is really for kids and do not know that there are picture books printed for adults. We used to have some in my high school library. This book is satire. Yes, it looks like a picture book, and you know what? I WOULD read this to my kids. I have no problem with swearing, I think it is a healthy way to release anger, while it can be rude to swear at someone, I do not have a problem with swearing in satire or swearing when I get stung by a bee or fall on the ground.

So many people are freaking out at the idea of reading this book to kids. Number one, most real young children will not realise there is swearing in it, because kids do not realise what swear words are or that they are "bad" or "rude" until they at least around eight or ten. You know what kids will hear when they read this book? Poems. They will look at the pictures and not really focus on the words much at all. They will listen to the poetic structure of the story, yes, but the actual meanings of the words themselves will be lost on their tiny, innocent minds.

If I was tired, desperate, and on the verge of loosing my temper, I would read this book to my children because it would be a way for me to unleash some of my tension, maybe smile a little, and at the same time beg for them to please GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lightbulb moment!

I was walking into town last night after work when I suddenly realised why I hadn't been able to do any writing that day. It wasn't laziness. It wasn't being angry about my lack of weight loss. It was the scene itself. I'd tried to add something else into it and had delightfully fucked it up. It wasn't working. That is the core of my writer's block most of the time. It is never usually me. It is always the scene itself. It is not working. I've fixed the problem and the words have started coming at a trickle out of my fingertips again. Oh, we got a new set of scales, tested them both on tiles this morning, and would you believe it my Wii was 100 grams lighter? Don't ask me how. When Jaylani tested himself he was heavier on the tiles and lighter on carpet. I lost between 700-300 grams yesterday. All I did was walk 30 minutes into town and have an insanely early dinner at 3.30pm that my stomach angrily protested about later that night after I got home from class. I am hoping I will be able to get back on track with my writing today. Oh, one more thing, I had a look at Echoes last night. I pulled a section out that I wanted to try and replicate in Deep Embrace (this was the idea that screwed things up) and I saw that in one version of Echoes it was only 75 pages long. When I finish a manuscript, I make copies of it in different fonts, because each publisher has a different type of font that they like. Some are fond of arial, some like times new roman, etc. Well, anyway, I was looking at the TMR one and it was only 75 pages long!!! I was like "It's so short!" at the time, when I finished it, I was so proud. I thought it was so long, which it was, compared to the other short stories I had written. I thought it was a decent little novella, but it's not, not really. It's more of a novelette, which is halfway between a short story and a novella, but that's okay. It's still a ripper of a good little story.

Deep Embrace, mean while, is almost at 120 pages long and still chugging ahead. I have not even got to the big climax yet. Now this little puppy will be a proper novella. I've noticed that my projects are getting longer and longer. I am hoping that I will be able to write a proper novel within a year soon. I have a feeling that DE will be about 60k word in rough draft form and god willing above 40k in the final draft. That is ALMOST a novel!! Hell, in some circles, it is a novel.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Should books come with warnings?

I had a peek inside a free ebook the other day and it actually came with a warning that it contained violence and sex. I've never seen that in a book before. I thought it was a bit weird. I would never think of including something like that in one of my books. I've never heard of books being labelled like movies. I have read some news articles of people that think they should be though.

I just finished reading LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and one of the characters was a paedophile. The scenes with him were some of the most fascinating, well written, disturbing writing I have ever read. The author did not just get into this guy's head. He cracked open his skull and pranced around in there. He was able to explain how this guy's sexuality worked, as disturbing as that sounds, and even showed him receiving sex from child sex workers and jacking off in a swimming pool change room while watching some young boys get changed.

If there ever was a book that should come with a classification on it to warn people of it's content it's that one. I was real shocked with how graphic it was but at the same time I really enjoyed it. It made it a fantastic, thrilling, disturbing read. I actually really liked it that the author dared to write about such a taboo subject. I've read so many posts on message boards from authors worrying themselves to death about including swear words in their books. I always roll my eyes when I read things like that. I mean, seriously, you're worrying about turning readers away because your Mary Sue says the word fuck? News flash: most adults can handle a bit of swearing.

I never worry about disturbing my readers with scenes of violence or sex. I don't even really write with an audiance in mind. I just let my characters do what they want and then when I'm done I will try and figure out where my book fits in. I don't think I would like it if someone put a big label on my book to describe its audiance. I think it would distract from sales. For example, in Australia, if something is deemed acceptable for all audiances it is given a G rating. If it is more adult it can be an M for mature, an M15plus for people above 15years, all the way up to an R. I would hate it if my book got labelled an R or an M or M15plus. It would have a huge impact on where and how it could be sold and who could purchase it. This is probably the reason why books still do not have these probably.

So many writers these days worry about including graphic sex and violence in their books. They think it will turn readers away and will lessen their chances of getting published. They actually think they need to warn their readers with warnings like the one I saw in that ebook.

We really do live in a nanny state, don't we? People want to protect not just children, but grown adults, from sex, swearing, violence, and every other naughty thing under the sun. Here's an idea: how about we let adults be adults? LET THE RIGHT ONE IN has been hugely successful, despite its graphic content, which just proves that when an author is unafraid to shock their audiance, instead of shielding them from nasty stuff, they might just win the respect of their readers.

I don't feel like writing I lazy?

I don't know why but I have not written a word today. I not have the energy, the drive, and the passion for it today. Everytime I open the word document and stare at what I got up to yesterday I sigh, put my face into my hands, and turn to stare blankly out the window. Why? I don't know. Is this writer's block? Maybe. Is it laziness? Maybe. Is it creative exhaustion? Probably. Does this make me a bad writer? In the eyes of some, yes. I tried googling how I was feeling and stumbled across an article that said writers block was bullshit and an excuse made up by lazy writers who do not want to write and like to waste their time doing other stuff.

I hate that sort of attitude. Writers block DOES exist. It takes a hell of a lot of concentration, imagination, and focus to write something. It's not just a simple act of stringing together enough words to make a sentence. You have to write it in the right tense, make it fit into the scene, the previous paragraph, check the spelling and grammer, keep the description under control, etc...etc... It's fucking exhausting!

I think the problem with me today is that I have things on my mind. I have to walk into town after work and I have no idea how long that is going to take, buy my dinner, then catch a bus to university for a lecture and a tuturial, when all I really want to do after work is go home and watch the Ellen show and get an ice cream out of the fridge.

I love going to university, but sometimes, going to night classes is not only exhausting, but a real pain in the ass. I cannot wait until I can finally switch to part time work and start taking up more classes during the daytime. Ah, that is going to be sweet. God willing it will happen next year as planned.

I'm also fed up about my struggles with weight. I'm trying desperately to get under 100kg before my wedding in november. I've lost almost 10kg. I'm only about 5-6kg away from reaching my first goal. But for some stupid reason my Wii Fit has been telling me for the past couple of days that I have gained 300 grams, then 700 grams, despite walking 8k on the weekend, doing 1hr and 10mins of exercise on sunday, and walking home plus an additional 30mins of excercise yesterday. I don't know how the hell I gained that weight or if it really exists at all. Is it muscle? Is it water? Is it a stupid fault in the damn machine which has proven itself to not be that trust worthy in the past? SIGH. God only knows.

Jay got me a new set of scales which I'm going to try tomorrow on tiles. I'm hopeful it will say I'm much smaller then the stupid Wii said I was this morning, but at the same time I'm terrified I really did gain that 700 grams, even though I have no idea how or why, and I'm back around the mid 107s again. Usually, when I gain weight, I can pinpoint the reason why, like the other month when we had meatbealls and pasta for dinner, yeah that was a good food choice.

It is probably muscle, but according to the stupid Wii it is fat, which makes me angry and depressed. So I guess I have just pin pointed why I have not written a word today. Hopefully tomorrow I will lose some of my where-the-fuck-did-it-come-from-weight and my mind will be in a happier place for me to be able to write again.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Mighty THOR!

I saw Thor on monday. I don't know what excited me more the amazing special effects, the story, the mythology, the acting, or Thor's beautiful, godly body, oh yeah. The movie got me thinking that I really should try writing a story about the norse gods. I have done research into them. I had a romance novel about Thor planned once but that probably won't be happening now. It was apart of a 7 novel series I started planning a couple of years ago but never got around to writing. I am still going to do that series but I'm going to trim it down alot. Sadly, that means cutting out my plans for my Thor novel.

My favourite mythologies in the world are Greek, Egypt, Irish, Chinese, Japanese and the Norse. I've done research into all of them and love them to death! They are all very different and full of rich, wonderful characters and magical worlds. Irish mythology is pretty cool. It's all about fairies and gods. I've dabbled in Irish mythology a little over the years. I wrote a short story based on Irish myth once called Fairy Dust.

I think out of all my favourite mythologies the Norse have the most imagination. When I was watching Thor all the research I did years ago came roaring back to me. Odin, Loki, the rainbow bridge, the 9 realms, Asgard, etc. I love how the frost giants were deplicted in the film and the rainbrow bridge was so beautiful. Watching movies like Thor is like feeding me crack. I come out of the cinema giggling and bouncing with excitement. My mind goes into over drive. I get really inspired. I was like that when I saw the Lord of the Rings films for the first time. I was writing medieval fantasy back then so those films were a huge inspiration for me. When I got them on DVD I would sometimes pause them so I could take the time to study the actor's costumes and sets to help me with my writing.

I thought Thor did a great job of bringing to life the majesty, the magic, and the strength of the Norse Gods. There's another God film coming out sometime soon. It's called the Immortals and is about Greek myth. I've seen the teaser trailer and the posters and it looks a bit like 300. I bet it will be awesome.

I've been thinking about what I'm going to do after I finish Deep Embrace. I'm almost 40 thousand words into it now. I'm past the half way point and very close to the end. I should be done before the end of the year but I doubt I will be able to have the whole thing edited and out and about before christmas. I do have that little wedding of mine in november to keep me busy! I also have to start editing Echoes in the Wind in September.

I'm going to do probably another two Greek myth stories after Deep Embrace. I have the outline for one planned already. It is called IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS. Once I am done with that I will probably do an original story about the Greek Goddess Andromeda. She has fascinated me for years. I have no idea what her story will be yet. After I've done that I will either move into Japanese, Norse, or Egyptian myth. We'll see where my muse takes me. It will be nice to move into a totally new area.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Different is sometimes good!

I'm reading LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at the moment. I'm about 20 pages in and I'm enjoying it. It's a real dark book. The characters are fantastically written. They are my favourite type of characters. Morally grey. They are disturbing. Weird. Fucked up. It makes for a great read. The main character, Oskar, wants to be a serial killer!! If that's not disturbing enough, the sub plot about bullying is pretty dark. One thing that has caught my interest about the book is the way the author writes his sentences.

He "tells" instead of "shows" and writes short, choppy sentences, without much structure. For example he will say: Oskar was walking home. That is calling "telling" not "showing" and is a big boo-boo. You are not supposed to SAY what is happening or what a character is thinking or doing. You need to SHOW it in words. For example: Sara whistled as she skipped down the path. It paints a different picture, doesn't it? You get the feeling you are THERE and watching Sara walk home. It makes it seem more real.

The author also writes sentences like "He walked across the path. Left at the brown door. Right at the fountain." etc..etc... I use short, choppy sentences seomtimes. It can work in the right circumstance. Something like: It was second nature. Instinct. She did not have to think about it.

But this guy...he uses these sort of sentences all the time! It doesn't bother me. But it got me thinking that this is another example of an author breaking the "rules" that I have been told by other authors never EVER to break. It just goes to show that you can write crappy sentences and sometimes slip into the wrong tense...but if your STORY and your CHARACTERS are good no one will care.