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July Update

Hey, hey…

So, I have been thinking about the way life works and how it’s really tricky trying to fit regular blogging into life, but also how regular blogging can be a good thing. And so I have come up with a plan… a monthly recap blog post, interspersed with the occasional “I gotta share this” blog post…

Also, down the track I’m looking to redesign my website so it has a better landing page and the blog is more of a side project — and I’d probably separate out the different topics I like to touch on.

Writing Progress

Early July saw a few more Beta reader comments come in for WARRIOR’S TOUCH which I worked to address. I also still had a few of my own niggles about the ending, but I thought to wait until I received feedback from

Read more…July Update

Phew!

Quick update before I return to regular programming…

So, my NZMM turned into a bit of a fail this year… let me share the reasons…

So, my family took a “holiday” at the end of April. We decided to drive from Dunedin to Hastings (New Zealand), because it was half the price of flying and it’s a great way to show the child the country (and see it ourselves!)

First up, we didn’t leave as early as planned due to there having been a crash on the highway we needed to take, and no detours available…

We eventually left and still got held up for an hour. Turned out to be an incredibly tragic murder-suicide… Yep. Even in NZ…

So, about four and a half hours into the journey (and about half an hour from our accommodation for the night… in the heavy, heavy rain and dark) the exhaust (with it’s newly-fitted bullet-muffler) began swinging between the car body and the drive shaft (4WD car, so it has a drive shaft)… Of course, we did not know this at the time. All we knew was that the car had begun making a horrendous noise. The car is 1996, so all sorts of things can start falling off in 2014, right? Yeah…well, considering our history with the car (for instance the engine mounting bolt that fell off just as we pulled up in Nelson – 9 hours north of Dunedin – that one time…) we were freaking out. (I was picturing the drive shaft falling free and firing the car – and all of us – from the road…)

We made it to the camp ground and our cabin in the pouring rain (surface flooding) and… managed. Got some sleep.

Spent the following morning trying to figure out what the problem was… well aware that time was ticking as far as getting to our ferry crossing on time. It was very, very wet.

Then we called Roadside Assistance, drove (carefully) to the guy on duty and got the car up on a hoist to figure out the problem. Problem identified, but not exactly fixable (just manageable), we carried on. 

Read more…Phew!

Special Guest: Literary Agent Eric Ruben

I’m trying to not to double-post… but I couldn’t hold this one back…

As you all know, after umming and ahhing over whether to pursue a traditional publishing deal or go it alone, I finally settled on a compromise: I signed with a small press. For me, it gave me the best of both worlds: a little hand-holding, but not quite as big and scary as the full publishing world. I have got to say, if you can make it big in this world, the rewards are great. I’d love to believe I can, but the reality for many of us is that we’re not gonna shine quite that bright. Even so, we can shine… we can publish, we can be read, we can be loved.

And so I’ve published. I have fans now… really. One or two, anyway.

I’m not going to say I don’t ask “what if”… What if I’d aimed for a bigger deal?

And so, I wonder… what would it be like to work with an agent? What doors do they open? What doors do they close?

To help me, and any other writers curious about such things, Eric Ruben agreed to do an interview with me.

Here goes…

Hi Eric, I’d like to start things off by getting to know you…

So, you’re a lawyer, literary agent, talent manager and a stand-up comic? (Who wouldn’t want to work with you? is my question…). What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child?

I remember wanting to be the President, a talk show host, a comedian, talk show host, race car driver, actor, rock star.

You’ve managed to tick a few off that list… Presidency might be just around the corner!

OK. Let’s get down to why I brought you here…

In today’s world, writers have more options than ever before: holding out for a Big-5 deal, approaching small publishers, self-publishing, or serialising their work on a blog. With all these choices, and the chances of acceptance by an agent/big publisher so small, you can see why authors might choose the other channels. In talking to other writers, the biggest disadvantages of working with an agent, and pursuing a big traditional deal, seem to be: sharing a percentage, and the long wait between selling a book and seeing it on bookshelves (vs. clicking “Publish” on Amazon…). What do you feel an agent has to offer in this ever more competitive market?

Read more…Special Guest: Literary Agent Eric Ruben

Round, round, get around, I get around…

I think I’m getting better at this interview thing

On another note… I was struggling with making progress on WARRIOR’S TOUCH over the past couple of weeks. Then last night, I had a thought about a scene that was OK, but just wasn’t quite doing it for me… Write it from another POV! At the moment, the scene is in Llew’s POV, but I’m going to have a go at Jonas’ later today. As soon as I had that thought, a whole lot of new dialogue came flooding in, and even a whole new scene! I had thought I’d keep WT in Llew’s POV, even though the story is more about Jonas’ issues because, as a reader, I get quite attached to reading through a particular character’s eyes. But I think it’s going to go a little closer to 50/50. There are a couple of Braph POV scenes again, too. And a new POV…

Oh, and I crossed the 60,000 word mark last night. Yeah, na, I’m not 50% through the story…

Author Interview: Yep, me again…

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is talk about me, me, me… Perhaps I do. But then, that’s one reason I love doing things like celebrating NZ Music Month – it’s a chance to celebrate other artists! (Wow, I’m starting to include myself in the rank of artists… It still feels weird, but I suppose… sort of… ).

Anywhay, this was the first Question-Reply-Next Question-Reply… style interview I’ve done. It was fun and gave Ana, the interviewer, the chance to react to my answers. I think she did a great job. I’m her first interviewee, and she’s looking out for MORE! So go check her (and me) out HERE!

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I’m working on a new drawing:

  1. So I can call myself an artist, and
  2. To give myself the chance to zone out now and then – drawing is a whole different art to writing.

And buy my book.

 

About That Cover . . . Another Indie vs Publisher discussion

. . . if you can call me ranting to myself in a blog a “discussion”. Don’t look at me like that. You probably like writing, too. Yes. Exactly.

Right, several weeks ago, I talked about cover art. Today, I read this rather interesting article about going indie. It’s not the first time that I have seen mention of the author losing power regarding cover design (among other things) and I think it’s about time I threw my two cents into the pot. You never know, I might win this hand. (I’ve had a very long day with the toddler and am extremely tired, please excuse what passes for humour this evening). Anyway, I have lots and lots of words to write in my WiP, so I will be brief, and get to the point (Ha!).

One of the example covers I used was the one for Brent Weeks‘ The Black Prism (Book 1 of the Lightbringer Series). Well, now the cover for The Blinding Knife (Book 2 of the Lightbringer Series) has been revealed. I’m really looking forward to this book. I loved the first and I’ve read the three chapters available online. I’m really looking forward to this book. But, you know what? The cover sucks. There, I said it.

And, I honestly wonder how truthful Mr Weeks is being when he goes on about how great it is. Because, honestly? He’s had good covers. He’s had great covers – as I showed in my last post.

So, I picked up The Black Prism after seeing this on the bookstore shelves:

Cover for The Black Prism
The Black Prism – sexiness in print

But, if it had looked something like this:

Read more…About That Cover . . . Another Indie vs Publisher discussion