Changing tack

Changing tack

Another short(ish) post. I thought I’d update you with how things are for me right now writing-wise. Well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and having plenty of heart to hearts with my husband about my writing.

And I’ve been thinking: what do I really want most – to write whatever I want, or to write the books that people want to read? See, I think it’s like this: different people may like different genres of books BUT most people also like reading what they’re used to.

So if someone likes, say, sci-fi, they will usually want to read a novel that is recognisibly that: sci-fi. Similarly romance, or a thriller or a detective story. People like what they like – it may sound trite or like a sweeping statement (which, yes, it could be seen as) but I think it’s very often true.

Now with me it’s like this: I enjoy writing (obviously!) and for a while now I’ve been struggling with being torn between writing whichever story idea comes into my head, or writing for a particular genre and thereby gaining more readers. The thing is I don’t want to write like a fraud – I want to write authentically – to be true to myself and my writing style.

As I said to my husband – you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Like the rest of my life, with my writing I can’t be something I’m not. But I need to do something radical. I’ll be honest – my sales have hit rock bottom and yeah I’m really gutted about that.

So at my husband’s suggestion (and this idea has grown and grown on me) I’m gonna try something new. I’m going to write a short(ish) story, maybe a novella, and I’m going to pick a genre and aim my story fairly and squarely at that. It’s going to be a romance, still working on the details and I’m not gonna give too much away, but let’s just say I’m hoping that by aiming at a particular sub-genre of romance, I may be able to do a bit better.

It’s gonna be a bit of an experiment and it may not work, but my hope is that I can get my writing noticed a bit more and who knows – I might have people read this new story and think ‘I wouldn’t mind reading another of Elaine Jeremiah’s novels’, thereby increasing my sales.

It’s a gamble, but hey I’ve got nothing to lose! I do think it’s a bad time for all indie authors at the mo what with Kindle Unlimited being introduced and all that, but quite frankly I’m going to keep persevering with my writing until there’s no breath left in my body! So I’m going to be a bit more calculating in my approach – and write what (I hope) people will really want to read.

Have you ever reached a point in your writing journey where you decided you needed to change tack? How is it panning out for you?

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Review of Take Me Tomorrow

take-me-tomorrow-cover

I must say I’m really getting into sharing reviews of books I’ve read on this blog. This one is of the latest novel by Shannon A Thompson.

It’s called Take Me Tomorrow and it’s a YA dystopian novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s my review:

This was an exciting, intriguing tale. In the dystopian world Sophia, her family and friends are living in, there is a war on between the State who control the various regions in this post-modern America and those who use and promote a clairvoyant drug.

At the beginning of the story Sophia has an unusual encounter with a mysterious boy in the woods. After meeting him her life will not be the same. As the story unfolds, Sophia learns things about her family and friends that she’d been blind to before, some of it shocking. At the same time she begins to get to know the boy in the woods better and he draws her into his world.

Sophia finds herself having to make choices: who to trust and who to follow. The potential consequences of these choices aren’t always clear to her and she finds herself having to trust her friends and family more than she’d like. But none of the decisions she makes have easy outcomes…

I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing and different. I haven’t read a whole lot of dystopian fiction before, but what I liked about this was the different angle it gave – a war on a very potent drug. I thought it was brave of the author to tackle the subject of drug abuse – even indirectly like this. Drug abuse and its effects is a very divisive issue and I thought Thompson handled it skillfully.

As the author, I felt she remained neutral on the subject and just allowed her story to flow, the characters to discover things about themselves that they didn’t know, and the reader to make up their own mind.

Of course, drug abuse isn’t the only aspect to this book. The relationships between the characters were well drawn and, at times, heartbreaking. None of them were black and white, not even Sophia, which I thought was realistic and one of the attractions of the story as a whole.

On the whole I thought that this was an excellent book, gripping and exciting and well worth a read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys an exciting, edge-of-your-seat, thrilling story.