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!