Archive | February 2014

A confrontation

Of sorts.  You might not agree that it’s a confrontation, but it sort of describes this week’s excerpt for WIPpet Wednesday quite well. I hope you’re all well BTW.

Last week I mentioned that I had an interview for a work placement.  Well… I GOT IT!!  So I’m really happy about that as you can imagine.  And thank you all for your kind words, it meant a lot to me.  It doesn’t start till the 2nd April though so I’ve got a while to get ready for it. :)

So back to today’s topic.  I’m sharing with you 26 sentences from chapter 14 of Reunion of the Heart.  (I’ll leave you to figure out how it relates to the date!!)  Anyway at this point Anna has just arrived home from dropping boyfriend Peter at the station.  I shared some lines immediately prior to this here.  Now she’s got an unwelcome surprise…

‘Anna?  Are you all right?’

The voice stunned her especially when she realised whose it was.  She felt herself flinch.  This was all she needed.  She stood up straight, turning to face him.

‘Yes thank you, Will,’ she replied stiffly.  ‘I’m just going inside, so if you’ll excuse me…’

He nodded and turned to walk on.  But she didn’t go inside.  In spite of her fear that he might be stalking her, curiosity got the better of her. 

‘Will, wait.’ He stopped in his tracks and turned to face her, his expression unreadable. ‘I… how long have you been living in Primrose Gardens?’  Her voice sounded hostile which was not her intent.  But he seemed unfazed.

‘A couple of years.’

‘A couple of years?’ Anna couldn’t keep the surprise or volume from her reply.

‘Yes.’ He looked as though he was suppressing a smile.  ‘I didn’t know you were living here though, or I would have popped over and said hello.’

‘But you hate me!’ she cried unable to stop herself.  ‘And I hate you.  You made my life a misery when we were at school.  How could I ever forgive you for that?’ 

If you’re not currently taking part in the wonder that is WIPpet Wednesday and you’d like to, all you have to do is post some of your current writing work on your blog which relates in some way to the date.  Then add your details to this.

Thanks goes to K. L. Schwengel as always for hosting. :)

When to send to beta readers?

Question

I’ve just finished my first round of editing my novel.  I’m wondering when would be the best time to send it out to beta readers (who I’ve yet to find!)?

Do I go over it myself as many times as possible before I get to that point?  Or is it better to send it out now and get the feedback I so desperately need as soon as possible?

There’s a certain element to my novel I’m not sure about.  Not going to say what it is but I definitely need some guidance.

So I’m asking all of you who’ve written a book (admittedly this is my second novel but I’m still unsure about this) what you’ve found to be the best time to send your novel out to be beta read and get those all important second opinions?

I must confess I’m not great at making decisions.  Also, if you all tell me a million different things, that’s going to be even more confusing!  But I’m willing to take the risk with this cos I really need to know.  And even if you don’t have a definitive answer, I’d be interested to hear your stories about editing and how it all went for you.

It’s definitely an exciting time for me having the publication of my second book on the horizon less than a year after the first one was published. :)

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.  Book number three is in the planning stages… (BTW it’s not a series!!)

 

 

 

A short WIPpet for Wednesday

Hi all.  My contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday is going to be short as I’m currently in the middle of preparing for an interview for a work placement tomorrow.

So I’m back to my old mean self and I’m only sharing with you 2 sentences from chapter 2 of my current WIP Reunion of the Heart. We’re going back and forth in the novel; here Anna has just arrived at her old school for the reunion:

Anna stumbled a little as she walked; she didn’t wear heels very often.  As they approached the school buildings, memories of being a pupil here flooded back to her.

So that’s it for me for this week.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share something longer next week.  And if you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, just post on your blog a piece of your writing relating in some way to the date.  Then add your details here.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

Flashback

Welcome to a very wet and windy WIPpet Wednesday.  Well it is here in the UK anyway! :(  Or at least the sun is shining now but it’s been horrible all day until now.  Anyway for this week’s WIPpet Wednesday I thought I’d share with you one of the many  flashbacks that my MC Anna has in Reunion of the Heart.  For the 12th February I’m sharing 12 lines from chapter 2.

In the present, Anna is at her school reunion and she and best friend Melissa have just been reunited with their school friends Lizzie and Rachel who they haven’t seen since school.

In this excerpt, in the flashback, you can catch a glimpse of why they fell out at school and hadn’t made up until now, many years later. I’m not going to say too much more than that.  So without further ado, here’s my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday:

‘What the hell do you think you’re playing at?’ Melissa had demanded of Lizzie, marching up to where she was sitting eating her lunch at the edge of the school playing fields and tapping her on the shoulder.  Anna was trailing in her wake.

‘I’m sorry, but when did you become the boss of my life?’ Lizzie had replied.  ‘Oh yeah, that’s right, you’re not!’

‘You know what Matt’s like, you know he’s a nasty bastard who’s given our friend hell and yet you still choose to start seeing him.’

‘It’s my life; I can do what I want!’  Lizzie retorted.  ‘And anyway, when are you ever going to let Anna speak for herself?  There she is, cowering behind you…’

‘I’m not cowering,’ Anna said in a quiet voice.  ‘But Melissa’s right, I do have a problem with you dating Matt.  He’s made my life miserable for five years of secondary school.’ 

And if you aren’t taking part but would like to, just post on your blog whatever you’re working on with your writing and add it here, where all the other wonderful WIPpets for this week can be found too.

Thanks goes to the most gracious hostess of them all K. L. Schwengel.

Indie Blog Chain

I was tagged by the lovely Laekan Zea Kemp on her blog to take part in a blog hop to help connect and promote indie authors. Laekan is the author of three novels: Breathing Ghosts, Orphans of Paradise (which I’ve reviewed here) and The Things They Didn’t Bury.

So I’ve answered four questions about my work and my writing process.  Here they are:

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on my second novel with the working title Reunion.  It’s a romance, about a young woman who’s invited to her school reunion and what happens to her while she’s there and afterwards.  She has very unhappy memories of her school days so it’s a difficult thing for her to do and she’s only gone along because her best friend, who was also at the school, has encouraged her.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

A lot of romantic novels I’ve read have been romantic comedies.  This definitely isn’t one.  My character goes through a great deal during the course of the novel.  I don’t give her an easy time of it!!  I think the romance genre is very broad and there’s a lot of scope for how to tell a romantic story.  It doesn’t have to be just romance with comedy or romance with erotica, there are many ways a romantic story can unfold.

Why do I write what I do?

I enjoy writing whatever I feel like at the time.  Having said that I’m finding that in general when writing, it’s a good idea to think about genre and which one your story fits into and to try and tailor it to that.  My first novel, The Inheritance, doesn’t really fit that easily into any one genre which has made it a bit problematic for me to market.  So for me, I feel that writing romance is something that my style lends itself to.  And I’m trying to write for that genre at the moment.

How does my writing process work?

I start off by making a fairly detailed plan – but I seem to end up not sticking to it!  Or at least I stick to the essence of my original plan, but veer from it quite a lot.  The story often goes off on a tangent and I find myself exploring whole other situations and possibilities.  I definitely have an idea in my head of the basic plot though and more or less know how it’s going to end.Jade

I’m now tagging the lovely Jade Reyner who’s the author of Twelve Days – The Beginning and the upcoming Twelve Days – The Future.  She’s a fantastic author and her blog is excellent with plenty of helpful information and humour about the writing process. She also posts short stories and some poetry, so go check her out.

Well I’ve finished my book… kind of

This week I hit a new milestone on my journey as an author.  I finished the first draft of my second novel which I’m calling ‘Reunion of the Heart’.

It’s been a lot of fun to plot and then write and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the world. :)  But as the title of this post suggests, it’s not finished yet.  Those of you who are writers will recognise that I  need to edit, edit, edit before I release it.  And of course I need to have other, dispassionate eyes on it so that I can make it the best that it can be.

So at some point I’ll be putting out a request for beta readers, but NOT YET!  There’s lots that I need to work on by myself first.  I may well tweak scenes and/or insert scenes.  I realise that as a story it does need a lot of tightening up.  I feel like there’re potentially a lot of holes in the plot, things I haven’t caught yet in my writing process.

Yes, I know that’s where beta readers come in, but I want to finish reading it all through first as my initial edit.  I want to make sure I’ve ironed out any obvious mistakes before I (fearfully) hand it over to be read by other people for the first time.  That’s a scary process, for sure – handing over your precious WIP to be scrutinised by other eyes for the first time.

If you’re a writer, I’m sure you’re familiar with that feeling.  You desperately want your WIP to be read by other people… and yet at the same time you’re scared ****less at the thought of other people who aren’t you reading and potentially being critical of your work.

But it needs to be done and so I’m working towards that point when I can finally hand it over to some generous people to read and make comments on.  I want to be the best writer that it’s possible for me to be.  I feel I’m improving and growing in confidence as a writer all the time.  As I’ve said before, the online community of writers has transformed the way I write and my confidence in myself.

So thank you once more.  And I’ll keep you all posted as to my novel’s progress.

By the way… are any of you working on editing?  How are you finding it?  I’d love to have your comments. :)

100 followers of this blog!!!

100 blog followers

Just a quick post to say: Yay I’ve reached 100 followers of my blog!!  It’s such a great feeling knowing that there are 100 different people out there wanting to read what I’ve put on this blog, offering me their comments and often advice in my sometimes turbulent life as an indie author.

Thank you to all of you who are following my blog, you don’t know how much it means to me to know that I have your interest in me, my blog and my writing. Having published my debut novel in August last year, it’s been amazing to have the support of my fellow bloggers, many if not most of whom are writers themselves and also on this journey.

And I mustn’t forget to say that I wouldn’t have a blog at all if my husband hadn’t suggested it, so BIG thanks to him too!!

I’m looking forward to an exciting 2014, when I’ll hopefully be publishing my next novel.  So thank you once again and watch this space!

Interview with David Lewis

David Lewis

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing an exciting new author David Lewis who has just published his debut novel Xakk Marks the Spot.  Here’s what he had to say about his writing process and the path to publication:

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

The dream originally struck between 2nd and 3rd grade.  I had read the entire “Goosebumps” series by R.L. Stine and knew right then I wanted to be an author.  Though the dream came and went over the years, as do many things growing up, it returned in full force around 3 years ago.  I began 2 other manuscripts and decided the stunk.  Finally, the right idea hit and I never looked back.  I’ll continue this in the next question.

 

How did you come up with the idea for Xakk Marks the Spot?

There I found myself hanging out with a friend of mine who happened to live in my garage at the time.  As we were there listening to music and simply relaxing with nothing better to do, a vision popped randomly into my head.  There on the deck of a pirate ship staring back at me were two teenage boys and a girl the same age; a younger boy in the center, on his right a clearly related boy closer to 20, and to the young boy’s left, a blonde girl whose looks could kill.  The ideas began to flow and one day at a time, things became solid enough to begin a book.

 

Did writing Xakk Marks the Spot require much research and if so what did that research involve?

Before I began writing the first book, I went to the library and read deeper into books on writing, and the process as a whole.  It wasn’t my first manuscript, but I was so ecstatic on the idea that I wanted to do everything write (lousy pun intended).  During the same three weeks or so, I plotted out what was originally a series of five books.

I would say more and more research truly came during the actual writing of the book.  The main goal of my new age world of piracy was to avoid becoming the same old 17th century cliché pirate tale with swashbucklers, nearly impossible to understand, go hunting for Black Bar’s cursed gold while on the run from Port Royal.  We’ve all been there and done that; Hollywood, too.  While classics such as Treasure Island, of my favourites, can never be replaced, I felt it was time to give the world something new.  Why not have their tale take place in the future and have them hunting for “lost” treasures of today?

Overall, more of my research went into geographical information, nautical language, and root words of foreign languages in titling elements of the story.  During the year and a half it took to get it to where it is today, I’d like to think I sat on most elements of the story to bring out originality and to avoid nasty plot holes.

 

What’s the biggest challenge you faced while writing it?

My biggest challenge was waking up every day and continuing to work.  Between over 100 rejections by literary agents, people who thought I was crazy and that it would never succeed, stress, and insomnia, the challenges were never ending to say the least.  Though that many agents rejected versions 1 and 2 of my work, version 3 (which is the published work) was only turned down by one agent.  Her response made it feel like she sat on it for 11 weeks, then opened to page one already set on finding something reasons to reject me.  She was very nice about it, but I’d wish she read more than 10 pages.

 

What have you found to be most helpful to your growth and development as a writer? 

Rewriting, editing, rewriting, editing—wash, rinse, repeat.  I look back to the original version of my book, and even at past manuscripts in the drawer, asking myself how in the world did I ever think this was good enough for anyone to spend time on?  It wasn’t.  My biggest growth came from practice, practice, practice.  Tiger Woods never stepped out onto the course for the first time without countless repetition on the driving range.  I had the ignorant opinion that my work would shine through from the very get go due to its originality.  That just wasn’t the case.  There are tons of great books being written by no name authors that will never reach the shelves.  I’d like to think some of the greatest works ever composed will never be read.

 

What has the experience of going through the self-publishing process been like for you? 

The process of publishing seems synonymous to the word migraine.  I found myself in constant mental anguish over every small detail, constantly second guessing my “executive decisions”.  Between final edits, formatting, and the difficult process that is having an artist bring your characters to life, I lost plenty of sleep.  However, being published, regardless of sales success or not, was a major dream of mine since a young age and now it has come true.  Seeing it up on the e-shelves (soon to be paperback) is an indescribable feeling.

 

Looking back over the whole process of writing and publishing Xakk Marks the Spot, is there anything you’d do differently?

I would’ve waited to query literary agents.  I rushed the editing process in a couple months, which felt like enough, only to be rejected again and again.  Even my first full rewrite was rejected again and again.  Also, I would’ve started my social network such as Twitter and Facebook much sooner.  Agents take authors who’ve established a platform much more seriously.  It shows you’re not another hack who read Twilight or Harry Potter with plans of writing something way better.

 

Have you got any tips for other aspiring writers?

Going off what I just said—my absolute number one piece of advice for authors beginning the journey is DON’T QUERY TOO EARLY.  Once you are turned down by your whole list of dream agents, you’re faced with tough decisions.  My next piece—never give up, EVER.  I wanted to quit and give up more times than I can count.  I convinced myself, however, that I’d regret giving up way more than finishing the job and failing.  Once you reach a certain point, failure isn’t an option, as if it ever was…

Thanks to David for being a great interviewee.  If you’d like to find out more about David, his blog can be found here and he can be contacted on Twitter via: @DMWLewis

You can buy Xakk Marks the Spot from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.

 

 

Meet Author & Blogger Elaine Jeremiah

Elaine Jeremiah:

Here’s an interview with me on the blog of an exciting new author David Lewis

Originally posted on Depths of DMW Lewis:

elaine-449x800

Hello all my lovely followers!  Recently, I spoke with fellow author and blogger, Elaine Jeremiah, and couldn’t resist the urge to interview her.  Checkout her blog at http://elainejeremiah.co.uk/ if you’d like!  Her regular posts fascinate me and are helpful in my road to becoming a legitmate author.  Here we go…

 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?  I think it was a gradual realisation over the years that writing is what I do best, rather than a sudden feeling that writing was what I wanted to do.

How did you come up with the idea for The Inheritance? I was searching for an idea for a new story I could write when I thought why not do a reworking of the parable Jesus tells in the Bible of the prodigal son.  I thought I’d put a modern slant on it by having it be…

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2014. 2 Comments

Meeting her new agent

Hello and welcome to my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday.

Thank you so much to all of you who gave me suggestions for the title of my novel.  In case you didn’t catch my earlier post, some weeks ago I did an Amazon search for Reunion just to double check that there wasn’t too similar a book with the same title. Unfortunately there was so I needed to come up with another title.

I was  stumped but Xina Marie Uhl and Kate Frost separately came up with the title Reunion of the Heart.  I really like it.  Seeing as it’s a romance I think it’s a great title as I want to ground it in the romance genre if that makes sense.  I needed a title that people who were wanting to read in that genre would be able to find and recognise it as being a romance.

So a big thank you to Xina Marie and Kate!

Back to the main event.  Continuing my spate of generosity in terms of length of excerpts I share, here’s two paragraphs from chapter five of my novel for the 5th February.  I’m hopping about a bit with my excerpts.  This one is a bit further on from last week’s.  My MC Anna, who’s an author, has just walked in to her new agent’s office.

She glanced surreptitiously around her.  It was the same office his predecessor Geoffrey had used but it was a lot different now.  It looked a little as though World War Three had hit it.  There were half emptied boxes on the floor with their contents spewing out.  The books on the shelves which lined three walls of the room were arranged haphazardly, some standing vertically, others lying horizontally in piles waiting to be arranged properly. And Peter’s desk.  That was a work of art in itself – a work in disorderliness.  Anna couldn’t even see the desk through all of the papers and books that covered it.  She smothered a smile as he rooted around his desk trying to find something.

‘Ah ha.  Here we are,’ he said brandishing the piece of paper in his hand like a sword.  ‘Before we start I should reassure you that I’ve read all your books and thoroughly enjoyed them.’  Anna felt her face flush with pleasure.  Peter went on, ‘These are some of the notes that Geoffrey gave me which relate to you and to how things are with your work.  But in all honesty, I’d rather hear from you.  What stage are you at with your current work in progress?’

Hope you enjoyed that. :) If you don’t already take part in WIPpet Wednesday and would like to, simply post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’ve written lately which relates to the date.  Then add your details here.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting.