Archive | November 2013

Neglecting herself – WIPpet Wednesday

I’m being kind to myself again by not having an image with this post and therefore not having to scour Google images for ages looking for a suitable photo!!

Anyway onto the task at hand: For this week’s WIPpet Wednesday I’m being kind to you too (slightly kinder than last week anyway) by sharing with you 11 lines from chapter 13 of my current WIP Reunion.

The maths is simple: 11 for the month, 13 for the year. There you go easy peasy.  Moving swiftly on, at this point in the story… I might give too much of the plot away by telling you what I was going to tell you!

All I will say is that my MC Anna has been neglecting herself.  She’s been brooding about stressful things that have happened to her and she’s really low physically and run down.

A few paragraphs ago from this excerpt she fainted.  (Gosh I think I tell people more about myself than about this WIP!!)

And here you have it:

Anna nodded obediently and closed her eyes, sinking back down onto the softness of the pillow.  She thought about her eating habits over the past few weeks.  When Melissa had been here they’d eaten well every night.  Melissa was a great cook.  And before that Elliot had prepared her delicious meals.  Cooking had never been Anna’s strong point.  Since Melissa had left, she’d mainly lived on simple pasta dishes or oven food.  Sometimes, especially when stressed, she’d forget to eat. 

And she had been stressed lately.  What with her run in with Will which had thrown her and made her anxious, Melissa moving out and the pressures of her book needing to be finished, things had been difficult.  Anna realised that she’d been neglecting herself and not really eating properly.

To take part in WIPpet Wednesday just post on your blog your recent writing work.  Then add your name to this linky.  Rule: the amount of your excerpt you share must relate in some way to the date.

Big thanks to K. L. Schwengel for being lovely and hosting all us crazy WIPpeteers. :)

To Scrivener or not to Scrivener??

Scrivener

I wanted to comment on my experiments with Scrivener and what I’m making of it.

Back in September I downloaded a free trial of Scrivener to see what I thought of it. Since then I’ve been a bit of a chicken and I’ve barely looked at it. Although I had made some headway with the tutorial, I was finding it very complex and a lot to take in.

My husband suggested I just forget the tutorial and simply play around with it to get a feel for what it’s like. I couldn’t even work out how to get past the tutorial; he had to show me lol. Anyway today I was having a proper go for the first time.

And I have to say I’m unsure about it. My husband’s offered to buy it for me for Christmas if I’d like it. But like I say I’m in two minds about it. Yes it’s very clever and allows you to do all sorts of things to assist your writing, such as making it easier to plan by having easy access to all your ideas and thoughts on different aspects of your story.

It also enables you to navigate much more easily between the different parts of your work, so that if you need to go back and amend things or refer to passages you’ve already written in a chapter way back, it doesn’t take forever. That’s the idea anyway.

But I didn’t get that far today. I barely did anything – at least it felt that way even though I spent quite a long time playing around with it. I’m definitely going to keep plugging away at it to see if I could get used to it. The thing is though I found myself getting rid of things I didn’t mean to get rid of and then not being able to access them again.

Scrivener just seems so vast in terms of what it allows you as the author to do. And so complicated! People have said to me that Word is easy by comparison and that’s so true. It’s like I really REALLY want to love Scrivener. I can see the potentially enormous benefits of it to my writing.

But if I can’t get to grips with it, even the basic stuff then there’s going to be a problem. My friend and fellow author Jade Reyner uses it and has written about her problems with it here and here. She’s getting on all right with it now I think.

I just hope that if I give it a bit longer before my free trial runs out, that I can maybe make some headway with it and perhaps just perhaps get used enough to using it that I can say ‘yep, Scrivener’s definitely for me’.

Or maybe it’s a case of square peg, round hole…

What are your thoughts on Scrivener? Have you/do you use it and if so what do you make of it?

In a precarious position

Gosh is it really that time of the week again?  Where has the week gone?  Anyway, hello to all you WIPpeteers old and new.

I’m going to be extra lazy today.   Not only am I not putting an image with this post, I’m only giving you 35 words from chapter 11 of my WIP Reunion for 20th November.  How did I come up with 35 words I hear you say?  Well here comes the WIPpet Wednesday maths: 20 + 11 + 2 + 3 – 1 = 35

Aren’t I brilliant? ;) Especially seeing as I’ve spent nearly a week nursing a hideous cold complete with a hacking cough. :(

At this point in the story my MC Anna has been shopping.  It’s evening, the shops are closing and she’s trying to make her way home.

Someone was calling her name.  Who?  By now she was at the end of the pedestrianized shopping area of Warston and was standing precariously on the edge of the busy main road out of town.

Fancy joining us for WIPpet Wednesday?  All you need to do is post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’re currently working on writing wise.  One rule: your excerpt must relate in some way to the date.  Then add your name to this linky. Big hugs go to K. L. Schwengel for being a wonderful host for all us WIPpeteers! :)

This entry was posted on November 20, 2013. 12 Comments

The Beloved Daughter Audiobook Blog Tour

Today I am pleased to host Alana Terry on her blog tour to promote the audiobook of her novel The Beloved Daughter.  I read The Beloved Daughter back in June and loved it.  You can read my review of it here.  I thought it was a wonderful story, sad but full of hope too, lifting the veil of secrecy from the lives of ordinary people in North Korea.

The Beloved Daughter is an inspirational suspense novel by award-winning author Alana Terry.  It is a story of persecution and triumph set in the oppressive North Korean regime. The audiobook version of Alana’s bestselling debut novel is narrated by Kathy Garver, a four-time Audie award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Motion Picture Council. (You might also recognize Kathy as Cissy from the TV show Family Affair.)

Listen to a sample of Kathy reading from The Beloved Daughter.

The Beloved Daughter

Synopsis: In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

Join the giveaway

Acclaim: 

 

*Winner, Women of Faith Writing Contest

*1st Place, Book Club Network Book of the Month

*Amazon Bestseller (#5 Christian Suspense)

Reviews:

“…an engaging plot that reads like a story out of today’s headlines…” ~ Women of Faith Writing Contest

“Alana is a master storyteller, and I can’t imagine anyone failing to be
captivated by this harrowing tale
. What we have here is a compelling
story, but it’s also one of great importance.” ~ Brad Francis, Author of The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living

“The Beloved Daughter is a beautifully written story that is…both personal and representative of the challenges that many North Koreans still face today.” ~ Sarah Palmer, Rescue Team Coordinator at Liberty in North Korea

“The author does a phenomenal job… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – but have tissues handy.” ~ Pauline Creeden, Editor AltWit Press
Order your own copy of The Beloved Daughter.

Awesome Prizes!

You don’t want to miss out on the month-long Beloved Daughter audiobook launch party. See the Alana Terry facebook page to get started. Multiple winners every week … Hundreds of $$$-worth in prizes!

ENTER THE DRAWING: In addition to the Facebook party, you can enter the grand prize drawing below for a chance to win a $100 gift card to either Target or Amazon (you choose!), or one of the awesome prizes from the prize gallery (think Christian T-shirts, jewelry, books, CDs, lotions, and more)!
SEE THE AUDIOBOOK HERE

SEE THE PAPERBACK HERE

SEE THE EBOOK HERE 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WIPpet Wednesday again!

Leaving

Well I’m knackered. I’ve just done over 1000 words on my WIP and whilst that may not be a lot to you NaNoWriMo people, it’s a lot to me!!

So I’m going to keep this short but sweet. Today being the 13th November, I’m sharing 13 lines from chapter 11. How’s that for simple?! Anyway at this point in Reunion, my current WIP, my MC Anna is miserable (again!) because her best friend Melissa is moving out of her home and into her own place.

Melissa moved in after Anna kicked her erstwhile boyfriend out. She’s been a shoulder for Anna to cry on, oh and she needed somewhere to live. So it was a win win situation. But now she’s moving to a new house a mere 10 minute drive away from Anna’s. Well, enough of that. Here it is. Enjoy!

The winter sunlight created soft dancing shadows on the bedroom wall. Anna blinked in the low light as she watched her best friend heave the last of her big suitcases out of the spare room.

Melissa’s announcement had seemed so sudden. Only a few months ago she’d told her that she wanted to look for a place of her own.

‘I can’t stay with you forever, Anna,’ she’d said as they sipped their wine one evening in the garden. It was late August and they’d been sitting on the comfortable, elegant wicker chairs Anna only brought outside when it was warm. That evening the weather was soft and balmy; a gentle breeze caressed Anna’s bare shoulders.

‘I know.’ Anna sighed distracted by a beautiful butterfly fluttering around the rosebush adjacent to their seats.

‘I mean, I just feel I need my own place, my own space, somewhere that’s mine. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed living with you, because I have. I’ve loved every minute of it.’

Anna nodded and gave her friend a big smile which she didn’t feel.

If you would like to join in the WIPpet Wednesday fun, all you have to do is post an excerpt from your current WIP on your blog. The rule is it must relate in some way to the date. Then add your name to this linky. Thanks goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

Editing whilst writing first draft

For practically the first time since starting this blog, I’m not putting an image with the blog post.  Honestly I just can’t be bothered, it’s too time consuming and there are other things I want to do this evening apart from blogging.

The title of this post is fairly self explanatory.  I’ve been working at my current WIP for a while today and yet I haven’t got much to show for it in terms of a word count.  That’s because I’ve been going through what I’ve already written and trying to iron out inconsistencies.

You might say I should leave that for when I edit the first draft.  But the thing is my memory isn’t always fantastic and I just want to make sure I make what I’ve written make sense before I forget exactly what it was I wanted to correct.  (OK, yes I am aware I’m repeating the word ‘make’ too much!!)  My MC is a writer herself – a much more successful one than me so I guess you could say I’m living vicariously through her!

She’s writing a novel but my problem was my inconsistencies about exactly which stage she is at with it at different points in the story.  And believe me, my storytelling was all over the place when it came to my character’s novel.  At some points she’d just finished it, at other points she was still making notes for a plan for it.  Anyway, you get my drift.

So I felt I really needed to alter it now while what I’ve been writing is still fresh in my mind.  Trouble was I kept having to scroll up and down the page in Word to search for what I wanted to amend.  Apparently Scrivener is meant to be an excellent programme for authors, particularly for times just like this.  I downloaded a free trial of it which I haven’t made much use of yet – I keep meaning to have a go with it properly but haven’t got round to it yet.

Word is simple yes, but it doesn’t do much for you in this situation.   I really need to be able to access information quickly without having to go back and forth getting completely lost.

How about you?  Do you edit a bit before finishing your first draft?  And have you tried/do you have Scrivener?  If so, what are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear them. :)

Post breakup

Breakup

I thought I’d be a bit kinder this week and share with you 23 lines from the first chapter of Reunion. They follow immediately on from the revised beginning of the story which I shared with you a few weeks ago, where Anna is confronting her boyfriend Elliot about his cheating. She proceeds to kick him out.

You may recognise some sentences in this week’s excerpt because this passage has parts in it that were from my original beginning. So apologies if some of it seems the same. I have, however, changed a fair bit of it so hopefully it won’t overlap too much.

At this point in the story Anna has just kicked her cheating boyfriend out. Her best friend Melissa, who currently has nowhere to live, is moving in with her. Anna is still struggling with her emotions over the breakup and Melissa is doing her best to help her to move on.

My WIPpet maths goes like this: 6+11+2+1+3 = 23 lines. So there you have it. Hope you enjoy it.

‘He did you wrong, Anna. He cheated on you,’ Melissa said looking Anna straight in the eye, a no-nonsense expression on her face. ‘You were absolutely right to give him his marching orders.’

Anna didn’t answer for a moment. There was a pain in her chest which had been there since she’d thrown Elliot out and it wouldn’t budge.

‘That’s the last of them,’ she said finally, heaving Melissa’s suitcase through her front door and ignoring her searching gaze.

Melissa picked up one of the many bags in the hallway and took it into the slightly tidier front room. ‘Well it’s all in the past now anyway. It’s a new start for both of us.’

Anna nodded and followed her from the hallway overflowing like a swollen river with suitcases and bags into the relative tidiness of her front room. Her hair was coming loose from its ponytail and falling into her eyes, so she vigorously tugged her hair out of its band and retied it, pulling it tightly until it hurt. Tears were threatening to fall, but she held them back like water by a dam.

Why should she give way to tears when there was no point? Elliot would win if she did that and yet… The world is your oyster. The thought popped into her head as she was standing a little dazed in the middle of the front room. Well it was, wasn’t it, now that Elliot was no longer a part of her life. Or the oyster is your world as he used to say. She scrunched her eyes up; try as she might she just couldn’t seem to get him out of her mind.

‘You’re thinking about him again, aren’t you?’ Melissa’s voice brought her back from the brink.

‘Only a little,’ Anna lied unable to keep her voice steady.

As you may have seen on my blog, the free promotion of my debut novel The Inheritance ended yesterday and it went really well. I’ve had nearly 9500 downloads, most of them in the US so I’m happy about that. Hopefully it’ll lead to more sales. :)

If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt of your current writing work on your blog. Then add your name to this linky. Only rule is that it has to relate in some way to the date. Happy writing! Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting.

The Inheritance does well in free promo!!

Well that was certainly an exciting 5 days. From Thursday last week until yesterday, my debut novel The Inheritance was free to download on Amazon.

I’d worked hard in the weeks leading up to it and applied to lots of free promo sites to register my details with them in the hope that some of them would mention me.

I paid for 3 of them to feature my book, the rest I left to chance. I was amazed when over the course of the 5 days a total of 9 sites I’d applied to for free featured my book on their site. I was happy to say the least.

What surprised me the most about the free promo was how well it did Stateside. Having only had meager sales of The Inheritance over there, I was amazed at the huge number of downloads there were. I had just over 9000.

The image I’ve uploaded from Amazon isn’t very clear, but I got to #53 in free ebooks on Amazon.com as well as #1 in romance and #3 in teen/young adult fiction. This result is more than I could have hoped for. I’m grateful to my blogger friends and Twitter followers as well as friends and family for spreading the word.

Although I didn’t do as well back here in the UK, I did get a few hundred downloads so I’m glad about that. In total, when I notched up the number of downloads across the world it came to 9461 which is just incredible for me.

Having had great success in the US but less in my own country, it got me to wondering why exactly that was. Thinking about it, I guess it may have been the cover that appealed to the American market and less so in the UK. It might also have been the subject matter, that a story about an inheritance and family issues may have been more appealing in the US than the UK.

Whatever the case, I’m just glad that thousands of people are now reading my book. That’s a good feeling. I’m also hoping that I’ll get a few more sales out of it. I was rather disappointed that my ranking in the sales category on Amazon had plummeted, both in the US and UK. Then I thought a bit more logically and remembered that technically I hadn’t sold any books anywhere since my free promo began, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on how The Inheritance does in the coming days. It’s exciting times.