The end, the end, the very very end…

My novel is complete. It’s been sent for editing – the lovely Karen Sanders removed a million extraneous commas – and I’ve looked over the notes, and now it’s done. Completely and utterly done!

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PHEW!

Next, I have to decide what I want to do with it. I’d like to submit it, either to an agent or to some small presses – but I’m also aware, from a career point-of-view, that it’s been almost two years since my last book was published. Some of my author friends publish more than one book a year, so I feel like I’m slacking. Although, I know I wouldn’t be able to work quicker – this book, at fifteen months and with the premise in my head for many years before that, is the quickest I’ve ever written!

I realise I’ve been pretty secretive over the whole thing. It’s a superstition thing – if I share too much, it’ll all go very wrong. So, here it is…

SMALL FORGOTTEN MOMENTS

Suffering from amnesia, artist Jo Mckye flees to her childhood home to escape her nightmares. Instead, she’s faced with a tragedy that occurred when she was younger and a stark choice.

 

What do you think?

So, technically, my Novel in a Year adventure has ended. Thank you for sharing it with me. I probably won’t bore you with the endless submission process, but I might mention it occasionally. And you’ll be the first to hear when and where you’ll be able to buy it 🙂

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A weekend in Bristol

A few people have asked how my day at the Indie Pop-Up Signing in Bristol, this weekend, went. So, whenever I’m asked a question that requires more than a one-syllable reply, I blog about it 🙂

Group Photo Bristol 2018

I’ve not done a signing on this scale before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Everyone else seemed to know each other! But I got chatting to a few authors throughout the day, and of course lots of readers.

When I’ve done small signings at my local bookshops and libraries, it’s always felt like people are actively avoiding eye-contact with me – perhaps they think I’m going to force them to buy all my books, I don’t know. But at my table, in a room of readers who wanted to talk to authors, I spoke with lots of lovely people, gave out lots of postcards and pens, and had a generally great time.

I even sold a couple of books!

The volunteers, who kept us plied with drinks and biscuits, didn’t stop all day, it seemed, dropping by regularly to check whether we needed anything.

My table – my view out (taken just as the afternoon doors were being opened), and from in front. My beautiful book stand received a lot of positive comments, too 🙂

It was a long day –  busy but fun – and I slept well that night! We didn’t go straight home. We visited the Clarks Village in Street the next day and I shopped…

Chocolate

How was your weekend?

 

Yes, Yes, Yes!

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I’ve done it! I’ve finished my novel. I started – as you know – in November 2016, and wanted to finish within the year. It’s been one year, two months and sixteen days.

With a caveat… it’s going to go to my editor, the wonderful Karen Sanders, who, I imagine, will pull it apart and come up with loads of suggestions.

But, for now. It’s done, it’s over, and I don’t have to think about it for a couple of weeks.

So, perhaps now is a good time to share some info about it:

  • the original concept was devised when I was about 18. The main character and the premise have remained, but the story and setting have changed greatly
  • my MC suffers from memory loss, which was a huge challenge for me as I love writing flashbacks!
  • it’s called Small Forgotten Moments, at the moment
  • it’s fundamentally a ghost story
  • Seaton, in Cornwall, is my inspiration, though I may have altered a couple of small details about the area
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Yes, this is a beach, I just took a photo of the rocks… which are more pertinent to the story

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2018

So, 2018… hello.

From a personal point of view, last year was good, yet I’m struggling to think of anything specific! I’ve just had a look back at last year’s round-up, and it was much more eventful.

I guess some years just slide along easily, moving from day to day, week to week. It doesn’t always have to be amazing, despite what social media makes us think. If you wake up happy and ready for the day ahead, and go to sleep content with what you’ve done, isn’t that enough?

2017 feels like a long year, but  as you get older that’s not necessarily a bad thing – a long time between birthdays, for example, can be a relief 🙂

Personal achievements this year include:

  • completing my novel (well, almost, I’ve got a few more chapters to edit, and they need a lot of attention)
  • seeing some awesome results at the gym
  • not going grey yet (sometimes it’s the little things…)

On reflection, the novel took a lot of time. I wish I could write faster, or at least not need

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The books beside my bed… waiting for me

so many edits and redrafts, but I’ve learned to live with it.

The downside of writing so much is that I can’t read at the same time – I realised a long time ago that I tend to absorb the style of writers I admire. When I’m in the depths of my own book, I can’t suddenly switch to someone else’s voice!

My plans for 2018 are to, once again, figure out a decent book marketing plan, say yes to more opportunities (I delayed on a decision a couple of months ago, and I’ve been kicking myself), and have as much fun as possible!

Happy New Year to you all, let’s have a blast 🙂

 

Merry Christmas!

Every time I write a post for this blog, I realise how long it’s been since the last one. Instead, I’ve been novelling (yes, squiggly little red line, that is a word if I want it to be!)

Progress on the novel is still going well, but the actual details haven’t changed since the last post I wrote about it – although I can’t believe I said that after Chapter 12 everything would tick along smoothly!!

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Our Three Wise Men

So it’s finally Christmas! Yay! It always takes time to get myself excited by Christmas – but once I am, I really am. This year I had some inspired present ideas for my parents, which is mostly never the case, so I’m feeling pretty proud of myself right now.

And, I’m going to give you a kind-of Christmas present too. I’m going to give you the chance to win 2 tickets to the Indie Pop-Up Signing I’m attending in Bristol, UK on 27th January.

You can find out the details on the event’s Facebook page, and on the Eventbrite page too.

The giveaway will be happening via my newsletter, which you can sign up to here.

Sign up before the 29th December to receive the email with the giveaway attached! Even if you can’t get to Bristol/the South West/England in January, why not sign up to the newsletter anyway? One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to giveaway more chocolate 🙂

If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a very merry one, and Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for reading my blog this year xx

One last edit… (and #BlackFriday sale)

… is what I said to myself, before I hand it over at the end of January.

Well, actually, my plan was to retype the whole darn novel, and it started pretty well.

If you’re new to this blog, you may not be aware of my rather unique editing style of retyping. I discovered a few years ago that it really helps to smooth out any kinks in the narrative that occurred when I was doing all the other edits. I love seeing the brand new document filling up again, the early word counts where just getting to 5000 was a huge celebration.

This time, I even rewrote the opening line, which is something I never do – that’s usually the fixed point in time I can always rely on. So there I was, typing away, when suddenly one of the scenes felt too soon. So I moved a section from a bit later on into its spot, and continued. But then, something else didn’t make sense, so that moved as well.

Now, I’ve moved almost all of the first eleven chapters around. I’ve never been completely happy with these opening chapters, so I’m really hoping I’ve solved the hiccups. At least I know that from Chapter 12 onwards, everything is in the right place… even if I haven’t used the right words!

Writers: what’s your quirkiest editing method?

Readers: have you ever struggled to get into a book because of the opening chapters, but then loved it? 

 


 

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My lovely publishers, Vine Leaves Press, are having a huge sale on selected titles over this Black Friday weekend. From Friday 24th to Monday 27th November, you’ll be able to pick up some of the best-selling Vine Leaves books for just $0.99AUD (roughly 60 British pennies!)

All you need to do is go to vineleavespress.com, follow the link, and use the coupon code vlpcyber when you get to the checkout.

And yes, You. I. Us. is included in the sale, so if you’ve read it and loved it, please share this info so your friends can read it too 🙂

What could be simpler?

Happy Birthday, Novel-of-Mine

IMG_20171105_205600.jpgThis morning I posted this picture on my Facebook page, and thought it deserved more comment.

You see, after sending my novel to beta readers, receiving their feedback and implementing it, this was supposed to be the final quick read-through to check for snags before sending it off to Karen Sanders for editing in the new year.

And yet… at only 39% of the document, I’ve already got over 200 edits! Wow. That’s a lot.

This book officially sprang into life a year ago, during NaNoWriMo 2016. My plan at the time was to take part in the challenge every year, but now I’m thinking that every two years will probably suit me better. I’ve definitely accelerated my writing process, which was part of the plan – now all I have to do is streamline how many times I actually have to edit the darn thing!

Good luck to everyone who’s taking part in National Novel Writing Month this year – it’s always a blast… a tiring, obsessive, chocolate-bingeing blast 😉

 

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? How’s it going, so far?