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The Barren Island Challenge

… What books would you take with you to a barren island.

You can find out which five I’d take if there was a strict limit (take a fully loaded eReader, I say!… or tablet… something that can play music, too)… Um, where was I? Right, yes, see which five I’d take and why HERE.

Learning Experiences: Goodreads Giveaway

Giveaway Book
Free! on a Goodreads Giveaway

Share and share alike they say. So I guess it’s my turn to share my experiences of a Goodreads Giveaway, just in case it helps those who come after me…

Well, first things first. Before I ran my giveaway, I checked out this page. It gives a nice blow-by-blow run down of giveaway results, showing you how different blurb styles and run times can affect the outcome of a giveaway. Reading this page can help you decide the ideal length of giveaway for you, and to write the most successful giveaway plug you can (e.g. Rather than the back-cover copy – which people can find easily enough – include reviews!).

I would like to add one caveat: Giveaway entries do not equal eventual sales, nor do additions to Goodreads shelves. While I was well aware of this, I was still surprised by other aspects of the giveaway.

If you’ve ever entered a Goodreads giveaway, you’ll know that when you do, there is a checkbox, already ticked, to add the book to your to-read list. Great. If you’re hoping to win a free copy then presumably you want to read the book! Well, yes, perhaps…

Check out my final numbers to see what you think:

People requesting: 1320

People who have it on their shelves

Read more…Learning Experiences: Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

So, as a sort of Celebration of the release of Healer’s Touch, my publisher, Kristell Ink, is letting me GIVE AWAY five (yep, 5!) copies of the paperback edition to Goodreads members. And, because I can, I’m going to sign them…

The giveaway will begin Wednesday 13th February and will run for 10 days, closing Friday 22nd. So, if you haven’t rushed out and bought a copy yet (and why not?!), or you just really, really want a signed copy (I’m sure you can find someone to pass your other one on to), then head on over to:

HERE

And sign up!

Winners are not obliged to, but are encouraged to leave a review (especially if they enjoy it!).

Welcome to the Team…

I would like to welcome to the Healer’s Touch team…. dun dun duuuun… Matt Donnici.

Matt is working (like, right now!) feverishly on a cover illustration for Healer’s Touch! How mega exciting is that? Yeah! Mega MEGA exciting! We’ve been discussing concepts and finer details the last couple of days, and Matt has done amazing work shaping his initial sketch into something that looks really promising. Really promising. I’m excited. Can you tell?

Read more…Welcome to the Team…

Coincidences = my friends (or, What’s In A Name?)

So, now that I have “finished” my first book and am working on books 2 and 3, I have been doing some researching (some might call it procrastination … but I’m sure it will all be useful in the end).

Xena – Warrior Princess (and a Kiwi, too! – yep, from Oamaru, just up the way …)

Anyway, along with working on these next two books, I am being bombarded by ideas on how to improve my first book – some scenes will need a re-write, some stakes will need to be ramped up … I wanted it to be finished, and I know I am close, but I can see some of the comments I’m likely to get from reviewers/editors already, and I want to fix them so they can be left to only say the really hurtful things.

I was checking out a website full of advice on novel-writing, and one of the things it pointed out is that nothing in a novel should be a coincidence. Sure, they happen in real life. Not in fiction. Well, according to a lady at Pixmar, bad stuff can happen at random. But not good stuff.

But my point from the first site mentioned isn’t about “bad” or “good” events. It’s about everything, even character names. Yes. Apparently, they have to mean something to the story. So I thought Uh oh, I’m gonna have to change some names here

Read more…Coincidences = my friends (or, What’s In A Name?)

A Gift For You …

 

This image shows the coding region in a segmen...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, really …  Well, all right, you might not be interested, in which case, toddle off once I reveal what I’m about to share with you. But if you are curious, stick around, because I am about to share my thought processes regarding the genetics of my two major magical people in my little fantasy world

Yeah. That’s right. It’s geek-speak time!

So, I’ve written a whole book without really investigating this so far. Sure, I’ve thought about it. But I haven’t really delved. But as I set down to work on my future books and think about the implications of some of my previous work (one of which can be seen in my supporting “prequel” short story Toes Across The Floor*) I find that I really do need to know this. No, it’s not going to be explained in the books (we’re talking equivalent to 1860s, here, people. Mendel himself was only just figuring out the basics).

Read more…A Gift For You …

Today’s Project

Today I started work on an image I hope to work up to a standard that I could handle putting on my cover for “Healer’s Touch”, if a better alternative doesn’t present itself. So, rather than a bunch of words, here’s a bunch of images.

Early development image
I sketched this far in Artrage Pro

I really wanted to like ArtRage – and I do! – but I am finding GIMP preferable for this sort of work.

Read more…Today’s Project

Officially done

The final draft of what I am now calling “Healer’s Touch (Book 1 of Weapons of War trilogy)” – trilogy being expected, but tentative until I nail down a few more details – is done and submitted in a competition to, hopefully, win a critique.

I have also forwarded copies to two willing beta-readers.

So the plan is to try not to look at it for the next 4-6wks. I may look at it for the sake of:

1. studying it for structure so I can learn from what I’ve done and hopefully do things more efficiently next time

2. making notes re: character details/timelines so that I have good reference material to go on with

I have several other things I can do instead:

Read more…Officially done