My first offer for submission….HELP!!

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Ok, so the book/novel/random pages of writing that hopefully resemble a story is finished…

I took a risk by sending a sample to just one publishing company, just for the laugh, just to see what might happen. I imagined it making it’s way cosily in to their inbox and then moving quite rapidly in to the recycle bin, in to the feared ‘slush pile’ never to be thought of again, just another failed attempt by a hopeless author with an impossible dream…

Well bugger me I’ve just received an email saying they want more…. they want the whole manuscript!!!

It is not an offer of publication but they want more… my writing sparked an interest… it effected someone who reads, what I’m guessing, hundreds of samples a day, mine stood out…

As proud of my little accomplishment that I am, that’s all I thought it would amount to… a few family members reading it, saying yes it’s good, I enjoyed it, then changing the subject rapidly when I ask what their favourite part was as they hadn’t yet got that far as it had bored them to giving up any hope of polite obligation.

So now what do I do?

I have got in touch with a proof reader who charges $1 per 400 words as I do not want to taint my changes giving them a self-edited pile of trash…

Can anyone recommend another proof reader or any tips on how to proceed before I pack my precious achievement off to be critiqued and  hopefully put in to the published hall of achievement?

Finished!!

The book is finished.

It’s such a relief and an amazing feeling to have finally completed it.

Now the hard stuff starts…. I have to get it out to the world. Where do I start?

There is a gold mine of information, advise, publishing routes and information. But as a rookie writer and publisher I haven’t the first clue where to begin…

I’ve seen talk of manuscripts, slush piles, create space, lighteningsource and Kindle publishing.

Any golden nuggets of advice and success stories would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any comments…

The Importance of Research

I am having what you would call an understatement of a lazy day!

Woke at 11 stayed in bed until 3 and then rose with the intention of doing much needed housework… I tidied my bedroom made my way to the kitchen where I flicked the kettle on to prepare breakfast/lunch/brunch and sat to eat and picked up Russell Howards Booky Wook as I am no longer able to stare in to space, I have to have something taking my attention… a possible reason for my insomnia.

5 pages in, I immediately get the urge to get back to my own book.

Because of the excellent writing?

Something he said triggered a light bulb effect of inspiration?

Or a line that showed complete and utter lack of research and just another ploy for celebrities to make more money from their fan fare, not worried about such an important thing as detail!

“I’m a bloke from Grays with a good job and a terrific haircut who’s been given a Wonka Ticket to a lovely sex factory ‘cos of the ol fame’ and while Augustus Gloop drowns and Veruca Salt turns blue I’m cleaning up. I’m rinsin’ baby”

Any Roald Dahl, Gene Wilder (I googled that as I wasn’t sure took two minutes!) or Johnny Depp fans will be hopefully as I was in utter disgust as this error.

If you are going to use a children’s classic to make your point, at least get the characters right.

It was in fact Violet Beauregarde who turned purple.

I’m guessing in all his eagerness to get his book out on the shelf to outshine the hard work and dedication of us true authors who take the time to research and make sure we are grammatically and factually correct, a little thing like going on to google was at the back of his mind.

I am now more determined to get my book out there that I have slaved over for a year… checked the facts, edited, re-edited and edited again. Whether I will continue to read this lackadaisical attempt at writing remains to be seen but I will be taking extra time to research, research research!!!!!! 

A picture paints a thousand words

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWig2WARb0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Ok so it wasn’t a picture but a song that formed a picture in my head…
Lily Allen ‘Somewhere only we know’
The John Lewis Christmas ad… at first it was the usual that’s sweet, it’s Christmas,  it’s coming whether we like it or not and another clever marketing ploy by a retail chain to get us to part with our hard earned cash in their store.
But the song played is now a chart topper and is invading our airwaves like flu germs on a bus…
I’m the type of person who has to find meaning in a song in order to like it… hence why when ‘What does the fox say’ was all over Facebook I had no clue what was going on until yesterday when it was played in the top forty charts!
So driving home today, the song came on and I actually like it, it has meaning,  so I turned up the volume and really listened, I have heard it is making people cry, making people excited for Christmas and reconfirming their love for animals…
For me? It made me push my foot down and race up to complete my final chapter of my book… I still have three or four chapters left to write to tie it all together but I was just overwhelmed with this eureka moment and I properly felt like an author as rather that relating the song to my own life, I thought of my characters and I got so excited at the thought of my readers face when they read that chapter. It also gave me a kick to get it finished before Christmas so it’s still relevant in peoples minds 😉

The importance of Reading…

http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/children-who-can-read-but-dont.htm

It is a sad and horrible fact that reading is a dying hobby…
How many children do you see in libraries? 
How many on public transport or coming around to the house have a book under their arm to ‘keep them entertained’?
All you see now is kids with ipads and phones from the age of 5 upwards I hear of kids having tablets for Christmas. .. I don’t even have a tablet at 26!
I have a laptop I got for Christmas four years ago that is a bit slow and behind the times but it works and if its not broke…
I had a little mention on the radio the other day after seeing they had posted a status up ‘only 27% of children do this because they actually enjoy it! What is it?’ Immediately I thought reading and commented and had a congratulations from the dj about half an hour later live on air for getting it right.
I did a little victory dance but then was saddened by the thought. What a terrible time to be going in to writing… penning a novel that’s going to go in to the wide expanse of literature that may be read by a few but then it’ll slowly fade and hit the 1p shelf on Kindle.
Which brings me to my next point. .. books!
Are they too going to become a dying concept? 
In twenty years time is my child going to come to me and ask ‘what is this?’ holding a book out like a foreign object as a young child would do now with a vinyl record?
I think all this was brewing in my head and I suddenly had a very strong urge to read a Roald Dahl book so (and I will hold my hand up I did commit the crime) I went on to kindle and downloaded Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but as I lay reading it, I think it triggered my biological clock as I suddenly was overwhelmed with a funny maternal instinct.
I turned to my partner and said our child will not be brought up playing with a tablet or a mobile phone, they will have real toys and they will be read bedtime stories from a real book every night and he just looked back quite puzzled at the outburst and agreed.
I had this sudden flashback of memories of being read the lion, the witch and the wardrobe still to this day one of my favourite stories. 
Reading Goldilocks, Enid Blyton ‘Oh dear Mr Tiddle’ and Goosebumps, ‘Be careful what you wish for’ at night in bed.
Traipsing back and forth to the school library when I finished my book to get a new one.
Getting so excited going in to a bookshop to buy a new book.
As much as I tried I cannot remember what instilled such a passion for reading but apparently I started at the tender age of 3…
I cannot imagine a child of mine not sharing the same passion and love for reading as I have.
It makes me shudder to think of my children not knowing the excitement and thrill of sitting down and reading and rereading a fairytale. Yes they can watch the dvd… but they’ll hear the real story first.
Soceity may be ruining a lot of things… the need for good manners, the want to help your fellow man, the desire to stop and take note of the beautiful planet we live in but one thing I hope is that in this day of progressing technology and the people that are working on ‘what can we improve next…’ leave the book alone. It is precious and should not be tampered with.
Yes the kindle and others like it have their pros and place BUT I think we need to keep some good old fashioned tradition going and reading children a bedtime story, tucking them up with full imaginations as they dream rather than what app will they download next should be top of the list! !

“I may be surpr…

“I may be surprised. But I don’t think I will be.”
― Andrew Strauss

This has happened!

I am currently writing a book that is complete fiction, but does resemble some things that have happened in my own life and have taken some life experience and twisted it in to the plot.

Due to work commitments and complete writers/laptop block, I had left said story 23 chapters in and my characters frozen in time waiting for their fictional life to be finished back in May. But before I had done this I had written a chapter predicting something that was going to happen in my own life.

I knew it was coming, I knew I was going to hear about it and when it did I would not be surprised. 

This was clearly playing on my mind as I had wrote this chapter back in April. Now I am cursing my writers block and lack of commitment to the tale as I have since learned what I thought was coming has come in the same circumstance as what I have written… Now I know people close to me are going to read the book and say ‘oh she wrote that when she found out about….’

Nope I didn’t.

I merely predicted it and alas it has come true before I could put in print.

Writers block has a lot to answer for. 

Laptop block…

Well hello my keen followers 🙂

 

No I haven’t fallen off the planet… or set off with all good intentions of becoming an author and then dropping it like a hot rock the minute I see something shiny… 🙂

I have been looking at my laptop for the past few weeks with pure resentment and loathing… I have all this words in my head, a complete book just begging to be finished, my characters are frozen in time wanting to move ahead, get on with where they need to be but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to sit down and type.

 

I have a full interest in the writing, I want to get it done, I love the story just I have discovered I have laptop block….

 

What?

 

Yes Laptop block…

The thought of sitting aimlessly at my laptop typing typing typing was what was preventing me from doing it. Reformatting… realizing my computer thinks it’d be funny while I’m in full flow typing not looking at the screen… (I’m not a good typist I need to look at what my fingers are doing which might be half the problem)… it decides to jump five or six paragraphs in to the middle of a sentence and carry on there so I look at all I’ve just typed and it’s not where it should be… 

 

Then we have the dreaded caps lock button… I’m doing my capitals and punctuation as I’m typing… I have to I’m anal like that…. but then i look at my screen and have done two to three sentences in capitals…. when are they going to make it so you can just highlight and make letters lower case so you don’t have to retype THE whole sentence.

I also have a habit of rereading over what I’ve written and keep editing where as I need to just get it written and then that sense of accomplishment will further motivate me to edit and finalize it ready to send off to publishers and look into self publishing while I wait eagerly for a reply…. can I do that?

So I have found a solution to my Laptop block… I will physically write it…

 

Yes I’m putting pen to paper just as shakespeare did…

 

I can then transfer my writing to the laptop, watching tv, listening to music, etc… all the concentration will be put in already the story will be written.

Also I don’t have the distraction on an A4 pad of oohh.. what’s going on on Facebook or lets look on Google for a bit of research and then get distracted and realize an hour later I’m supposed to be writing…

 

Will it work? Watch this space….. 😦

 

 

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Do Not Disturb

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So I have got in touch with all friends and family today.Thanked everyone I had to for a highly enjoyable evening last night, and informed them all and my Facebook friends that I am spending today writing.

The phones being ignored kind of… I have soft music playing and am in the zone.

I am re-editing chapters and printing them as I go along so I can refresh my memory on what I’ve written, see how character traits have been developing so far as I have them in my head, I know who they are what their feeling and am writing as if everyone else does too so a bit of revision is needed before finishing the last few chapters.

I am also doing this with a mild hangover… It does lessen your concentration ever so slightly. Yesterday it took me thirty minutes to edit a chapter, today its taken me an hour and a half. So despite all my Do Not Disturb warnings, my effort to make sure I get some work done, I failed to think of the consequences 7 or 8 glasses of wine last night may have had on me… I actually don’t know how many glasses I consumed but I did have a sore head and carpet mouth this morning… nice.

I am now moving on to the next chapter after I have found some decent motivating music, had some fruit to boost my sugar levels and will try and gather my first wind, it hasn’t come yet so there’s no need to be asking for the second wind to kick me up the bum and get me working.

 

Moral of the story… don’t plan a writing day after a boozy session with the in-laws.

It’s not productive but I shall persevere and conquer the hangover and hopefully spin out some good editing by the end of the day

 

A quiet place with a view

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Sitting on the rocks in the sunshine, listening to the lapping of the waves and feeling the sun warming my skin…
No I hadn’t jet off for a last minute sun holiday to Costa Del Heaven, I had joined my partner on a fishing trip rather than taking up the pure british tradition of.. Bank Holiday? Sunshine? Beautiful weather thats guaranteed not to last more than a few days? Why lets go to a dark pub and dehydrate ourselves with alcohol in the beer garden while risking sun stroke.
Nope. Not me. I wanted to get out, enjoy, live for today… and write.
So I kindly suggested to my partner that he should partake in his favourite pastime.
I would gladly sit quietly on a jagged rock while he lost himself in hours of fishing, cursing dog fish and spearing dead mackerel.
I solemnly swore I would not get bored and brought my laptop, book and a notepad to draft ideas for a second book as proof of such. He seemed dubious,obviously knowing from past experience that these trips can last hours.
So after clambering up cliffs and edging through gorse we got settled.
I watched intrigued as he cast out his line and then sat in patient waiting, to which I turned to writing.
I did it freehand, in that the sun was shining on my screen so I had no idea how many spelling mistakes and warbled sentences there were but the draft was there. I said to myself ill write a chapter and then read a chapter of The Da Vinci code.
My partner quite baffled at how I could not be succumbing to boredom kept checking was I ok? ‘Yep good’ was my reply not averting my eyes from the screen fully engrossed in my story. He seemed to realise after a while my attention would not be wavered and my commitment was there. I was in the zone.
So he decided to place a dog fish at my feet to tear my attention away and frighten the life out of me.
Momenteraily distracted and telling him exactly what would have happened to him, had I dropped my laptop and it had gone sliding down the rocks in to the blue sea below; I returned engrossed again.
Just reaching the final climactic end to my chapter and in full writing mode my partner called it a day bored of catching dog fish and playing second fidfle to my imagination.
Im not ashamed to say I was a tad disappointed.
I had an hour left on my laptop for which I could use to write. Then I could draft my next two book ideas for another hour maybe two and then finally relish in a succesful authors work as a reward.
Instead we clambered over the rocks from which we came and headed home to a chinese and that bank holiday tradition of the pub.

The moral of the story is no matter how serene and tranquil the setting… you need to be alone, have no schedule for the day or night and have nobody expecting you at any said time.
Just a you’ll see me when you me scenario.
Also time writing days better than on your 1 Year Anniversary that falls on a bank holiday monday with fantastic we have to do something together weather 😉