Showing posts from November, 2013

That empty feeling when you have published your book… Guest Post by Susanne O'Leary

I have just published my twelfth novel, Hot Gossip. It took me about six months to write, including editing, proofreading, proofreading and more—proofreading. You might think I feel relieved the work is done, that the book is out there in cyberspace to be enjoyed by, hopefully, a lot of readers.

Yes, I’m happy. And also very relieved and proud of my achievement. Writing a novel takes a lot of hard work, soul searching and brain bashing. So having finished a novel that is as good as I can make it is very satisfying.

But then… I miss it. I miss all the characters that became my friends during this time. I miss the fun, the heartache, the wrestling with all their problems. Letting go of that world I created and so enjoyed spending time in was a huge wrench. For six months, I had lived in Janine’s skin for part of the day, created her problems and tried to solve them. She was me, in a way, and I was her. With her, I fell in love with the hero and tried to make their story as romantic but al…

AUTHORS ELECTRIC HOW-TO DAY Making and embedding audio recordings - Bill Kirton

(The illustration features the author depicted in the act of recording at what has become a mixing deck, and listeners who are either inspired to dance or deafened by his music. It is by Isla Kirton whose rates are very reasonable.)
     A recent suggestion was that we use some of these blogs to offer tips on perhaps more 'technical' aspects of writing. For me that narrows the topic range significantly but I have done plenty of voice-over work, so my own suggestions are about audio recording.

Using audio opens up different possibilities through trailers, extracts or even whole chapters. The more courageous might try entire books but that's fraught with lots of difficulties too numerous to explore here. This advice is for anyone who wants to record a sound track for a trailer or try making a short reading to post on SoundCloud and/or their website.
     First, if you haven’t yet got them, download these free bits of software:

Audacity (an excellent audio editing progr…

Where We Work (Part Two) - Joint Post

Our previous joint blog (under the same name) went down so well that another three members of the team (Kathleen Jones, Susan Price and Valerie Laws) have decided to share where they work as well.

Kathleen Jones - visit website
         When I moved in with my partner there was nowhere for me to write.  It was an old industrial building adapted to the needs of a sculptor who sloshed plaster and clay about and who needed large, draughty spaces to mix toxic chemicals for casting. The living space was basic and cramped.  I wanted a quiet room to crawl into with space to think and spread papers around, enough light to read books and sometimes write them. It was quite a problem.  But the man wanted me to stay and so he decided to fix up something to tempt me.  

          Up in the rafters, on the top floor of the mill, he made a platform under two big skylights, built in a desk against the slope of the roof with plenty of space for files and a computer.  The roof has wonderful oak crown bea…

Whoring Myself Again - Andrew Crofts

I hadn't heard my son coming into the office as I typed away at some self-promotional piece of blogging or tweeting or whatever was the social media flavour of that day. He only needed to stand behind me for a moment to grasp what I was doing, being a world-class reader of screens.
          "Whoring yourself again?" he enquired cheerfully before ambling off to stare into the fridge for a while.
          The bluntness of his comic timing made me laugh, as it often does, then I got thinking. "Whoring yourself again" is pretty much the perfect definition of freelance life. I've spent time with a great many people who have at some stage been involved in prostitution, either voluntarily or enforced. You sell your body or you sell your brain - either way you run the risk of ending up selling your soul.
Most writers hate promoting themselves, always hoping that publishers or agents or critics or fans will do it for them. But in our hearts we all know t…

When A Challenge Gets Out of Hand #AllUsers - Ruby Barnes

A few weeks ago I was giving a two hour talk in a local library on the wonders of e-publishing.
          'So, there's no quality control?' one of the still-conscious attendees asked.
          'That's right. Some restrictions on cover and content, but even those might not prevent initial publishing,' I said.
          Another person woke, caught the thread of conversation and asked, 'How about title and author name? Any copyright or that sort of thing?'
          'No. You can't copyright a title and you can call yourself whatever you want, within reason. If you use J.K. Rowling you might get into trouble. Let's take a look.'
          I opened the Kindle Direct Publishing web page and proceeded to create a new kindle book with the title Nonsense Novel. Then I entered an author name - Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel. (For those whose TV memories are more recent or less obscure th…

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Crying Wolf! - by Susan Price

And not only available on Amazon, but also on Barnes & Noble's Nook, and on Kobo too, thanks to Draft2Digital, which is a great boon to the self-publisher.
          Nice ad, eh? It was put together by my brother, Andrew, from one of his own illustrations for the book. This one:-

          At the moment we're battling through the problems of turning The Wolf's Footprint into a paper book, with Createspace. The pictures in the paperback will probably be black and white, because of the expense of colour-printing - but in the e-book they can be as colourful as we like.            I asked the artist who produced the illustrations, Andrew Price, about the size the images needed to be. He said that the images in Wolf's Footprint are 1563 pixels wide by 2500 pixels high. This is a good size to give good resolution on a kindle. If you're working with an artist, he says, it's the artist's job to make sure the images have an adequate resolution - that is, …

Typos - by Jo Carroll

We all make them, don’t we? In that glorious rush to get
words on paper fingers get muddled and our wisdom can emerge as gobbledegook. So we edit, edit, edit – honing our wonderful sentences until they say exactly what we want them to mean.
Except sometimes they don’t. In our heads they are wonderful, because we see what we think we’ve written. But the reality can be wobbling tenses, repeated words words, missing punctuation so one sentence runs into another and the whole thing makes no sense at all and even speellings that hide in the sentence undergrowth and confuse here and hear.
I know, you’ve read the thing six hundred times and are convinced that this time it’s perfect. And then along comes Nellie (probably aged about six, with a reading age of eight) and spots twelve mistakes in the first paragraph and it’s all you can do not to chew your own arm off with frustration because YOU ARE MEANT TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS STUFF!
So – this is a plea – how do you spot them? I’ve read the follow…

So You Want To Be a Writer ... by Lev Butts

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This past March, I was asked to be the keynote speaker for Georgia Highlands College's inaugural Writers' Collaborative Conference, in Rome, Georgia. While trying to gather materials for this month's post, I came across my speech. I am posting it this month because I think it speaks to a lot of misconceptions non-writers and new writers have about being an author. I was going to pull some ideas from it, but I couldn't get it to work as well as it does here, so I'm posting the speech in its entirety. For those of you who wish to read the story, I reference near the end, I am posting on my personal blog and will provide a link at the end. I hope you enjoy it:

Good afternoon.
How many of you plan on making your living writing?
[Just about everyone raised their hand]
That many, huh? Well, I have some, perhaps, disheartening news for you all: the chances of doing that are, if I were to take a fairly educated guess, akin to the chance a black man has of su…