A post-Christmas post

Writing just do it

Hey everyone. I hope this post finds you well and that you all had a fantastic Christmas. I did. It was quiet and uneventful (apart from the usual family-seeing, opening-presents time) but good. It was lovely to catch up with my brother and sister who I don’t see that often.

Well I’m still working away on my current novel-to-be Reunion. I did over 1100 words on it yesterday, so I’m pleased with how it’s going. I hope to publish it some time in 2014.

I haven’t found the process of self-publishing entirely easy, but then I don’t think any self-published author I’ve been in contact with has. My debut novel The Inheritance hasn’t done as well as I would have liked. Like my good friend Jade Reyner I’ve experienced some, shall we say, less than favourable reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

But it’s easy to focus on the negatives. I’ve had plenty of good reviews too and that keeps me going. Also as my husband is quick to remind me, I wasn’t originally going to publish The Inheritance and it’s largely down to him that I did. He felt it was important for me to have a book out there being read by people, to have the experience of self-publishing.

And I have to say I get a real buzz seeing it on Amazon and Goodreads, getting feedback from people who’ve read it, even if that feedback isn’t always positive. Now that I’ve been through the process of self-publishing a novel and learning to market it, I feel stronger as a writer. I’m constantly learning – aren’t we all – and I feel that my writing style is improving.

So I hope that when I come to publish Reunion, which is more of a straightforward romance than The Inheritance, my acquired knowledge of self-publishing will stand me in good stead.

On another note, but related to writing, I’ve given up with Scrivener. A week or so ago I had another play around with it and I couldn’t make sense of it. It just seems so complex and I was going round in circles with it. Luckily I didn’t lose any work as I just copied and pasted from Word into Scrivener. But it was really frustrating for me to not get anywhere with it. What I really need is to sit down with a physical person at my desk who is experienced with using Scrivener and can teach me how to use it.

Till then I’m sticking with Word! Or for the moment at least anyway. It’s a far simpler programme than Scrivener and far easier to navigate my way around! I wonder if there’s a way for the people who developed Scrivener to make it more user friendly?

Anyway I’d love to hear your reflections on your writing experiences of 2013 and if you’ve had more success (or less if that’s possible!) with Scrivener than me.

Until next time… Happy New Year for 2014!


A brief WIPpet Wednesday

Hi all.

This is going to have to be quick as I haven’t got a huge amount of time today. But I hope you’re all well and not too stressed out by the pre-Christmas rush.

My WIPpet this week is a tease (again!). I’m sharing 21 words from chapter 12 of my work in progress.  My maths works like this: 18 for the 18th + 2 + 1 (from 2013) = 21 I’ll let you figure out the rest!!

The scene I’m sharing is from Reunion and it follows directly on from last week’s.  Anna is trying not to think about her experience with Will a week ago.

Anyway she should try and forget about Will and think about Peter instead.  He was coming down to see her tomorrow.

I’m guessing we’re not doing WIPpet Wednesday next week seeing as it’ll be Christmas Day.  Yay!  (for Christmas Day, not because I don’t want to connect with you guys via WIPpet Wednesday!!)  I hope you all have a wonderful time.

To be a part of WIPpet Wednesday just post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’re working on writing-wise. Just make sure it relates in some way to the date. Then add your name to this linky.  Thanks goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting.

All that’s left to say is Merry Christmas to you all!! And I just realised that this is my 100th post on my blog!! So yay for that too. 😀

WIPpet Wednesday once again

I hope you’ve all had a good week.  I’ve been doing some Christmas shopping, some online some in regular shops.  Thankfully I don’t have too many people to buy for so that’s good for me!

Anyway on to the main event on my blog today: WIPpet Wednesday.  Seeing as it’s the eleventh of December today, I thought I’d share with you 10 lines from chapter 12 of my current WIP Reunion.

Only 10 lines?  I hear you ask.  OK 11-1 = 10 and I just felt the extract works better without the extra line.  It follows directly on from last week’s WIPpet post.  A week has passed since Anna’s run in with Will and she’s sitting comfortably on the sofa in her best friend’s new house, thinking about what happened.

Anna closed her eyes as she was sitting on the sofa of Melissa’s front room, basking in the warmth of the new house.  It was now Friday evening.  In less than a week Melissa had managed to get most of her belongings packed away.  Although she’d told Anna she wanted to do some decorating, to make her mark on it, the house was pretty much up together now. 

Anna was unsurprised.  Melissa always had been organised.  She’d been in her new house for a week now.  And almost a week had passed since Anna’s run-in with Will yet she couldn’t stop thinking about it, trying to make sense of it.  Why was he stalking her?  Was he obsessed with her? 

So if you want to take part in WIPpet Wednesday just post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’re currently working on writing-wise that relates in some way to the date.  Then hop along to this linky and add your name.

Thanks goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂

Ups and downs on the self-publishing journey

I’ve been experiencing the different sides to being a self published author since I published my debut novel The Inheritance in September.

It was selling quite well to begin with and I was really encouraged. Then it slowed right down. I wasn’t doing very well in the US until I did my free promotion over 5 days from the end of October to the beginning of November. I had nearly 9500 free downloads during that time, the vast majority of them in the US.

But after that I came back down to earth with a bump. My novel was selling much better in the US than before the free promo, but worse in the UK. My sales in other parts of the world weren’t good either. Eventually my sales dived again and now I find myself selling one or two copies here and there.

Well I guess one or two is much better than none! It is quite disheartening though. I do feel that The Inheritance is a bit tricky to place in a genre, which could be partly why it’s not selling hugely.

And then I had a couple of bad ratings on Goodreads. Although they were unaccompanied by a review, for some reason I felt worse than when I read a review with the same rating on Amazon. But as my writer friend Kate Frost says, bad reviews come with the territory.

Bad reviews can be a little hard to stomach though after you’ve worked so hard on something. Although as my husband said, it’s not necessarily because my writing’s that bad, it’s just that it wasn’t to someone’s taste. As Kate also said you have to take bad reviews with a pinch of salt, just as you might a five star review which raves about a book. You don’t  know if they’re being fair or not.

I guess I’ve just got to keep my chin up and keep trying, promoting The Inheritance when I can and not being too downcast that it’s not selling that well.

How do you deal with disappointments in this self publishing journey?

Being harassed – WIPpet Wednesday

I can’t believe it’s December already. Can anyone tell me where that year went? It feels like five minutes since last Christmas Day when my husband was taking a photo of the family lol.

Anyway for my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, I’m being generous and giving you four paragraphs from chapter 12 of my current WIP Reunion. I’ll let you work out the reference to the date yourselves!

This point follows on – well not quite immediately – from last week’s excerpt I shared with you. Anna has been shopping and is desperately trying to get home but she’s being followed by someone, a guy called Will, who wants to speak to her.

She’s desperate not to talk to him – she was at school with him where he made her life a misery – but he’s trying to make her listen to him. Anna is convinced he’s stalking her – this is just one of a series of occasions where he’s ‘bumped into’ her. She can’t take anymore…

She turned to walk away but his hand was on her arm again, gentle yet firm. The blood rushed to her face; now she was incensed.

‘Get your hand off me!’ she yelled. Passers-by turned to look. A middle aged man carrying a bag of shopping from Tesco came up and asked if everything was all right. He looked pointedly at Will who, with an expression Anna couldn’t fathom, released her arm. Anna nodded to the stranger and thanked him. The man seemed unconvinced that she didn’t need help but left them.

Anna didn’t wait for Will to say anything. Without another word she turned and walked quickly away from him, praying that he wouldn’t follow. She didn’t look back. Almost feeling his stare boring into her, she rushed to the cash point on the other side of the pedestrianized street. Her hands fumbling, shaking with nerves, she eventually managed to get some money out all the while petrified that he would be standing right behind her when she turned around.

But to her relief when she did turn around he was nowhere to be seen. Anna ran to the taxi rank on the road where Will had spotted her, praying that he wouldn’t suddenly appear again. Thankfully he really did seem to be gone and she hopped in a taxi, giving instructions to the driver of where to take her. To her relief she was soon being whisked off back towards the comfort of home.

By the way, I hope those of you who took part in NaNo achieved all you wanted to.  I’m full of admiration for you guys; it’s something that wouldn’t suit me but I’m impressed by those who manage it along with everything else in their lives. 🙂

If you haven’t taken part in WIPpet Wednesday before but you’d like to, all you need to do is post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’re currently working on writing-wise.  Then add your name to this linky.  Rule: Your excerpt must relate in some way to the date.

Big pre-Christmas hugs to K. L. Schwengel for hosting.