Saturday, 11 August 2012

I'm A Work In Progress

This post is part of RJ Scott's anniversary blog hop. Congrats on 2 years and counting!!

As a new author, it has already been quite a learning process - from planning to writing and from submission to release day.

So, where do I start? For quite some time, I had been encouraged by others to try writing professionally and submit something for publishing. In the first instance, I thought sure I can do this, but there was always that lingering doubt. What if they reject my story? A story I worked really hard on. It'd be like they were rejecting me. But I'd never know if I didn't try, and that's half the battle - having the courage to try. And if things don't work out, take any advice or figure out where you went wrong and try again.

While I worked on my first story, I was fortunate enough to have a friend who had already made that transition to published author, RJ Scott. Through her I was able to get a taste of how the process worked by co-authoring a novel, The Art Of Words. It wasn't as scary as I thought and it was incredibly rewarding to see our hard work lead to something. Okay, an ebook isn't something you can hold as such, but the publisher she worked with, Silver Publishing have fantastic artists. I had a beautiful book cover with my name on it - that was something to be incredibly proud of.

The editing process was pretty straightforward. I know it will depend on the state of your story in the first place. Plot holes, grammatical errors, awkward sentences, repetition of phrases and words, redundant words like 'that', and for me, those nasty Britishisms as I write in American English. I have been through the editing process a total of four times now and each time I learnt something new that I never thought about before. It's been great that the three times for my solo stories I've worked with the same editor, I don't know if that's a common thing elsewhere, but it's helped and I like consistancy. I do find the more people who look at a piece of writing, they have slightly different views on structure, grammar, and word use - nothing major, just those little things that seem right either way.

Something else from editing... I am of the opinion that the publishing staff are there to help me and to shape my story into something that is saleable. Obviously, this is to both our benefits :D So any suggestions and comments I have fully embraced, and tried my best to make the changes. I remember putting in a joke in a story and the person who read it didn't get what I meant, and after looking at it, I could see why maybe they didn't. Just because I know what I mean when I write something, doesn't mean anyone else does :)

Release day - today is actually the release day of my first full novel, Dead Things, which follows The Art Of Words with RJ Scott and then a short story for a summer submission at Silver, Sex and Cocktails. As a new author, I get really excited and also nervous on release day. It's exciting because it seems such a long time since submission and editing, and then there it is, live on Silver and Amazon for the world to see. Maybe one day the novelty will wear off, but certainly at the moment I really look forward to it. The nervous part also kicks in here as, as much as you want to hear what people think, you really don't want to hear what people think. What you have to remember is that reviews are subjective - they may like a certain type, style, be in a certain mood when they happen to read. One thing to always remember, never get defensive and reply to these reviews. It could quickly spiral out of control and there are plenty of examples of this on various books on Goodreads and Amazon. Behave like a professional, take anything constructive from them, and move on to your next story.

This is my experience so far in publishing. Other things I've had to consider are the writing itself. Things like: having a plan (even of it's just key points), making notes about your characters to help continuity, if you get stuck try 'sprinting' (set yourself a short time limit and off you go - you can write several hundred words maybe more when focused for a simple 30 minutes), POV and tenses - make sure you stick to them (you can only be in one characters head at a time thinking and feeling stuff!) and US vs UK English. Another thing I was gently prompted to do is promotion. Get on facebook, get a blog, do your best to post stuff and be active and get involved (or bullied *sticks tongue out at RJ*). And most of all have fun.

As it is release day, I'd like to offer readers a chance to win a copy of Dead Things. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your email addy and a winner will be selected tomorrow at midnight (GMT). Competition closed. Congratulations, Terri!

Also RJ Scott is having a competition, along with links to the other posts in this blog hop here...
And find the resource facebook page for new and existing authors inspiring the blog hop here...

Dead Things

A deadly virus rages indiscriminately across the United States and then beyond. The survivors face a new terror—the undead creatures created in the wake of the infection.

Devin Reid is part of a group surviving out of a high-security penitentiary near Kansas City. Resources are limited and it's down to a handful of people like Devin to meet the demands on food and supplies. The newly-made monsters are hungry, and the survivors risk their lives scavenging the cities and highways.

On one fateful venture, Devin finds something, someone, with the potential to change a dark future, destined for blood and heartbreak, into one of hope and second chances. He finds Noah Weber.

Available from Silver Publishing: Here
Add to Goodreads: Here


  1. Excellent post... it's been an awesome six months... RJ XXXX

  2. What a great post, very interesting and good luck with your new release.

  3. Any hints/tips on how you plan your stories or do they evolve as you write?

    1. Though I generally have a plan of where I want things to go, I do kind of let the characters guide the story. Sometimes it goes in a completely different direction to what my small outline wanted, but I usually go with it unless I can see I'd be writing myself into a corner. So, yeah, not very helpful I know, but as I move into writing pieces to be published, it might be planning becomes a lot more significant... I'll let ya know how it goes LOL

  4. Awesome blog post. I agreed with everything you said. Love the blurb... adding to the ever growing TBR