Monday, 30 December 2013

Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza - day 5

Welcome to the final day of the Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza sale.

This is your last chance to collect some quality ebooks at absolute bargain prices, so make sure to make the most of it.

Make sure to also check out the Awesome Indies blog to see if you're a winner of one of the Amazon gift cards.

Hope you have a great new year, and 2014 is an exciting one for you!

Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza - day 4

Welcome to day 4 of the Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza sale.

Today is going to be a really interesting day on the Awesome Indies blog as it's a chance to find out about what’s coming to the Awesome Indies in 2014! We have big plans and you can be a part of them!

And don't forget there's one more day to enter the competition for three Amazon gift cards.

Enjoy, and happy holidays. 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza - day 3

Welcome to day 3 of the Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza sale.

Today, the focus is on series - a chance to celebrate the series and return to your favourite worlds. So come to the Awesome Indies blog and join in the fun.

And don't forget, there's still plenty of time to enter the competition for three Amazon gift cards.

Enjoy, and happy holidays. 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza - day 2

Welcome to day 2 of the Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza sale.

Today is an exciting day because today is the day the competition begins. You have a chance to win one of three Amazon gift cards by participating in a fun quiz celebrating literary creativity.

To enter, just go to the Awesome Indies blog and start getting creative now.

Enjoy, and happy holidays. 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza - day 1

It's holiday time at last. It's been a crazy, hectic year in many ways, but now is the time to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than with books - lots of great books.

The Awesome Indies are having a massive Holiday Bonanza sale, running from 26-30 December. Here you will find 60 high quality books. Some are free, most are 99c, but all are substantially reduced.

And that's not all. There will be fun events over the next few days, with the chance to win some great prizes.

So happy holidays for all, and make sure you join in the fun.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Rounding out the year with some exciting news

Well it's almost the end of the year. And because I really like to end the year in a really positive and uplifting way, I'm really pleased to be able to announce some news which is kind of exciting.

Just over eighteen months ago, I self-published my first novel, Magnus Opum, in ebook format only. Since then, while sales have been fairly modest, I have received some really wonderful reviews and feedback from readers (and some not quite so wonderful of course, but I can deal with that).

The good news I have to announce is that the very kind people at Booktrope publishing have made an offer to publish Magnus Opum, which I have decided to accept.

What this means is that I will shortly be taking Magnus Opum down from Amazon, and the various other online stores it's currently available from. And some time afterwards (I'm not quite sure yet as we don't have a schedule worked out), a shiny new and improved version will be up and running. And not just an ebook version. Magnus Opum will also be available in print for the first time. Well, I guess my mum will be excited about that.

So anyway, keep posted, and I'll be sure to let the world know when Magnus and his friends will once more be making their way through the exciting and wonderful world of book sales.  

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Follow the dancing dots

Once again, I have to thank Jim Murdoch for giving me the idea for this post (and believe me, when it comes to thinking up ideas for this blog, I need all the help I can get).

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking about editing. To be honest, I find editing a bit of a mixed bag. Part of it is really enjoyable - the part where you get to gradually see the writing tighten up, and where you start to bring everything together to move from a disjointed bunch of ideas to a real story. But there's another aspect of editing that I have to admit I find quite painful - trying to keep up with all the little dots that dance over my manuscript.

You know the ones I'm talking about. The colons and semi-colons, and especially the commas. I have no idea where commas are supposed to go. Every time I go back to revise one of my drafts, I feel like 20% of the time is spent actually refining the story and writing, while the other 80% is spent moving commas around. And around again. And around a third time. Even just writing this blog post, I reckon I've spent half the time fiddling with commas.

I'm lucky that I have my editor. She always seems to know where commas go. She'll tell me that because this is a post-conjunctive phrase alongside a relational-subjunctive clause (or something like that), there has to be a comma between them. As for me, I just go on instinct. If I feel like a need to take a breath, I chuck a comma in. Only problem is every time I read it again, I find myself wanting to take breaths in different places.

I'm waiting for technology to catch up. I'm waiting for word processors to become so clever, they know exactly where the commas (and all the other types of dots) are supposed to go, and just stick them in as you're typing. And then I'll be able to spend less time trying to follow those pesky dancing dots, and more time working on my actual story.

Till then have a great week.

Or should that be till then, have a great week.

Oh, I give up.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Trying to hide in fantasy

Writing fantasy is really fun.

It's really enjoyable to create brand new worlds that have never before been explored. It's great fun to populate them with the strangest types of residents you can think of, and then set them off to see what they'll get up to.

It's a process you can totally get lost in. You can forget your daily troubles, and all the things that are wrong with the world, as you immerse yourself in a brand new world of your own creation. A world where everything can be as good as you want it to be. A world where all the problems of the real world are things of no concern at all. 

Except that you can't. Or at least I can't.

No matter how hard I try in a world of fantasy, I always find that the real world has followed me there. No matter how I create my perfect little world, I find that the flaws of the real world will be there, often twisted or amplified in unexpected ways. And no matter how original I try to make my characters, they always end up with characteristics or flaws that are all too recognisable from those in the real world.

I don't think I'll ever be able to fully escape the real world and hide out in the world of fantasy, I can never avoid what is happening around the "real" me, and I can't stop it bleeding into my stories. And, when I think about it, that's a big part of the fun. It's a way I can sort out my own thoughts and feelings for what is happening around me, and try to come to terms with things that are otherwise too complicated to understand.

At least that's what I try to do as a writer. As a reader, the experience may be completely different. I suppose that's part of the fun too.