Today is a big day, for a lot of reasons… I’m still breathing for one, that’s always an achievement. But the real reason is because today is the day I reveal the cover of 13 Steps to Evil – How to Craft Superbad Villains.
I know cover reveals are a big and exciting moment for anyone, but frankly, I am a little terrified!
The first reason it’s daunting is because this is my first book…Okay, technically, it’s my second, but it’s the first one being published. Which means this is the first time I’ve done a cover reveal.
The second reason is because until now, I’ve been able to back out. I might have said I was writing a book, but there was no proof! Other than me being supremely antisocial and hiding away behind a laptop screen for months, who was to say I was doing anything? Maybe I was scouring the internet for the best small arms deals, or for Darth Vader lego sculptures made by the hands of the real Santa.
Book? What book? Phsst.
There was no evidence of book related projects, until now….. Continue reading
Last year saw me complete and edit no less than two manuscripts. That’s good, but it’s not enough to get me writing full-time. So this year, I’m even more ambitious. In 2017, I want to publish not one, but five books. Yes, I know, my sphincter tightened saying it too.
Given I am a mum to a toddler and I work full-time, it’s
ambitious, utterly mindfudgingly insane. But YOLO bitches, if I don’t start publishing a lot of books soon I’ll spend another year watching my glorious dream disappear in a vat of sludgey self-loathing and word-turds. I’d rather cut out my left ovary and eat it than go another year without publishing (and that is saying something I have been a vegetarian for 28 years).
BUT, publishing five books in one year is not going to be easy. Over the past six months, I’ve been building up a set of resources to help me be super efficient. Besides, everyone knows I love to share my process, and what better way, than being totally transparent with all the tools I use.
So here is my list of 6 recommended tools to help you be as productive and efficient as you can in 2017. Continue reading
I finished my second book (kinda). Yay, go me. By kinda, I mean it’s all but on it’s way to beta readers, which means it’s had a big edit and a proof from me and Mr Grammarly, the cover is done (cover reveal coming soon) and the blurb is looming like a nasty plague eyeing my self-doubt hungrily in the corner.
I thought, given it’s my second book, and it feels like a milestone, I’d do some reflection. I’ve done a couple of these posts, one when I finished my first book (9 Secrets Successfully Completing That First Draft), and another after all the editing and completing the second draft (13 Things I learnt From Completing Draft Two)
This post is entirely selfish and just my observations about the development of my writing process, maybe you’ll find it useful, or maybe you can have a good chuckle at my incompetence.
The book I finished is 13 Steps to Evil, my non-fiction writing craft book that will teach you how to craft Superbad villains. Continue reading
2015 saw me read a disgraceful three books. There was no way in literary heaven I was going to read just three books in 2016.
So this year I decided to set myself a challenge. The Goodreads challenge. I have a small child more commonly known as the Terror Tot, so I knew reading time would be limited. I figured reading one book a month would be better than just three over the year. So that’s what I set my challenge as.
12 books, 12 months.
But I’m pleased to say I smashed that goal into teeny tiny words like smithereens. I read 32 books.
So here’s my summary of the best books of 2016, including recommendations, my challenge for 2017 and the number of books are set myself to read next year. Continue reading
I’m doing something exciting… At least I think it’s exciting. So much so I’m liable to wee my pants.
I’m launching a new website. A new blog. See, I made a bit of a school boy error when I started this blog, I focused solely on non-fiction, and I swore, a lot.
Now, that’s great, if you read non-fiction or are a writer, or have dark sense of humour like me. But not so good for if you’re trying to attract fiction readers of a very specific genre.
So here is me, warming you up to the fact that come January I’ll also be blogging somewhere else… That doesn’t mean this blog will go. Oh no. This blog-badger is here to stay. I’m just going to make my life supremely difficult and have two sites! Continue reading
I’m a genre whore. 70% of what I read is Young Adult fantasy or dystopian fiction. I’d make it 100% but I actually want to read my friends books and occasionally I like dipping my toes in other stuff like (thrillers, crime, literary fiction) and then there’s non-fiction business, marketing and mindset books and of course, my other love, conspiracies.
But the point is, I’m a big slutty slut slut when it comes to YA fantasy/dystopian. I gobble it up like a starving orphan. Why?
Because I love that shit. I love it so much I’d motorboat them books all night long and carry a caffeine drip to work because I stayed up so late reading (happens a LOT).
But, having read a lot of books in the same genre I can confidently say, they are ALL the same story. No really, they are. But its the familiarity that drags me back.
And it’s the familiarity that drags other readers back too. We actually want to be told the same story, over and over and over. It’s just that we want to be told it in a different way, so it doesn’t feel like the same story.
That’s where tropes come in. Tropes give your readers the familiarity they crave, which is why they are so important to you if you’re a genre writer. Continue reading
I hate Christmas because it’s eye-twitchingly expensive. Mostly we spend it in the car or feeling bloated from greed. I don’t eat meat and honestly, I don’t really drink either, so the prospect of Christmas does not fill me with fluffy tinsel covered unicorns of joy. When I think of Christmas I think of the Grinch and smirk.
But Halloween, I don’t just like, I love it. And not for its real purpose of remembering the dead, or its meaningful roots derived from Irish mythology and Christianity, but because it’s filled with the weird and wonderful.
Halloween is the one time of the year when judgement stops and everyone is free. Ugly masks and unusual make up suddenly become acceptable, celebrated even. Fancy dress is no longer an oddity served with a raised bushy eyebrow, it’s compulsory.
Halloween has never been scary to me, but the writing business is and so is the publishing industry. 2017 is nearly upon us, and that means, that by hook or amputated butt cheek, I will be publishing next year.
So in a salute to Halloween, here’s 6 things I find terrifying about writing and the publishing industry Continue reading
I know what I know about branding from trial and error and total cheese-covered fuck ups. This has become a delightfully twisted journey to publishing full of encounters with big bitches like hindsight and a bunch of lessons learned too late.
I am not a marketeer by profession, so don’t expect technical wordery, theoretical mumbojumbo or any other professorial nonsense. This post is just the culmination of my obsessive fascination of all things marketing and brand creation.
Do you know who you are as an author or what your brand is? Or even how the fuckins you’re meant to figure it out? No? Let me help… Continue reading
Conflict – the foundation of every novel bled onto the page.
Without it, your book flatlines harder than the grim reaper. No self-respecting book doctor will even attempt to resuscitate it. And yet, you need to, because conflict is the god of novels.
If you’ve been a good little girl, then conflict will dip its mighty hand into Santa’s sack and bestow heavenly book treasures on you, like pace, tension, plot line and well-rounded characters with enough depth to drown a reindeer. But without it, we’re talking dead Kipper slaps to the face.
And nobody wants a stinky dead fish face mask.
But when you love your precious little bundle of baby hero joy more than life itself, torturing them with a bout of – villain/antagonist/insert another form of conflict shaped nappy rash can be rather more difficult than one expects.
Here are ten tips for shaping your books conflict. Continue reading
If we’re honest, us writers tend to be a little on the obsessive side. We get an idea, a character forms, and before we know it, we’re tits deep in 30,000 words of wordish vomit. We swim in it like it’s a jacuzzi with naked waiters continuously handing out glasses of champagne. No one wants to get out of that jacuzzi, I know I sure as shit don’t.
But sometimes, after you’ve been chucking up the good kind of word vomit (the one that’s rough round the edges but makes pretty pictures in the middle) all of a sudden it stops. Then you’re pouring out illegible turds, minus the glitter and shine.
Something’s broke. Really broke. It’s not writers block, because the words still come. Only now they’re turd-words instead of smothered with genius literary butter.
Now, no matter what you do, the pretty word vomit won’t come back. So what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you either:
- Beat yourself with a pen chain and spiral bound notepad until your face is pitted with imprints or
- Fall into a deep pit of self-deprecating writerly hatred
Neither of which are particularly effective at producing anything other than obscure shaped bruises. Trust me.
I had to try something new… So today, is less of a crazy lesson with bookish explanations and crude examples, and instead a lesson I’ve learnt through experience on my writing journey. Continue reading