Tag Archives: editing a novel

And the novella is live!

Bazinga!

Never Grow Up - High Resolution

Never Grow up is available now on Amazon. Remember I told you ’bout it the other day?

“It’s a funny, upbeat coming of age story about Jude, a tomboy who never wants to grow up. She just wants to live. It’s a quirky little read, filled with letters and texts and lamenting teen rants with an optimistic little sister, a swiftly changing best friend, a despairing dad, a jet-setting older sister and a band called The Manic Flamingos.

This sweet tale is told in just over 21,000 words.”

I also told you it’d be up for 99p, and it is. Alternatively, ask me for a copy! I’ll happily oblige. ❤

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My First Interview!

My first author interview! Eeep!

It’s terrifying how fast this has all come around. It was only during the summer just gone that I made the massive decision to self publish my books. To me, it was like the fate of my future on my shoulders. I know, melodramatic much? But still, there I was, thinking of all those brave and passionate peeps out there who ‘go it alone’ and wondering if I’d ever pluck up the courage to do it myself.

Well, on January 6th, I made that first step. Honest is out there, and it’s being read and reviewed. More humbling than that is the fact its first review got five stars! This was from somebody who literally just loves reading and reviewing books, and after just a couple interactions on twitter, she read my entire book in just a day or so. Next thing I know, she’s given me a 5 star review and offered me an interview spot on her blog.

To me, that’s just the coolest thing ever. It’s like fancy dress. I  get to put on my fancy-shmancy author clothes and answer questions like a grown-up!

So, thanks to Liisur, I’ve started making baby steps. The support of the book bloggers and the self-publishing community is the thing that really astonishes me. There’s no one-upmanship at all; just lots of people willing to help a brother out. So far, my experience has been really pleasant and I’m so grateful for those people who have contacted me to get a copy of Honest; especially those who started reading right away.

I’ve said it to them, and I’ll say it now: even a 1 star review would be worth everything to me. Even if you hated my work and thought it was a steaming pile of cow dung, I’d still be a happy camper. All I ever wanted was to write books and for people to read them. If you’ve read and considered my work enough to actually review it, then you’re a star.

Of course, I won’t be saying that when the pitchforks come out, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, hahaha…eerrrrh…yeah.

Anyway, if you fancy getting to know me a little bit better, and wouldn’t mind hearing about my writing process and what inspired my first book, you can find it HERE on the lovely Liisur’s blog!

In the interview, I talk a little bit about my other books too, starting with All Girls Cry. That’s coming your way soon, folks, though I don’t want to make any promises time-wise. Soon means soon. Suffice it to say, I made the right choice about the order in which to release them, or so I think. All Girls Cry is about as popular as Honest has been on Goodreads, so I’m sure it’s one of the most sought-after from my little collection.

Of course, the fact that Leap and Beyond haven’t had proper covers this whole time hasn’t helped to get them much exposure. Leap does have a gorgeous cover now, but Beyond is taking a little more time to find the right one. That’s no matter, though, because Beyond is also still being proofread by the lovely Dayna at Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers, so in a funny ol’ way, it’s all worked out!

Beyond is really special, though, so it’s worth the wait. It’s my most “romantic” (OooOOO) book and I’ve described it in my interview with Liisur as ‘a bitter-sweet tale of letting go’, so that gives you an idea.

So there we have it. Things be a’brewin’, folks!  I’ll be hopefully doing a couple of guest blogs in the very near future too, so look out for those. Or don’t. I could very well bore you to tears. In which case, as you were!

The Writer’s Own Slushpile

The hardest thing about being a novelist is learning that your first novel will probably be shit.

So will the second.

By the third, you might have learned a trick or two. You’ve read tons more books since the first and you have a new respect for pacing. The first novel gave you more confidence knocks than you ever thought you could handle, and by the second novel, you’ve finally realised that you really, really aren’t that special little snowflake. Going unpublished is something that DOES happen to you – not just everyone else. By the third, you realise that you’re writing because you love writing, and no matter what happens, that IS precious to you.

Even if it hurts to go unpublished yet again.

This road is long and you’re walking it with everyone else, pulling your manuscripts along in a little kiddy cart behind you. Some peoples’ piles are higher than yours. For others, their wheels are wobbling off. Some people have to keep re-attaching the handle because it just keeps slipping and the bolt never did fit properly.

Others are sick of dragging the cart around, so they think ‘Fuck this shit!’ and they flat-out boot it into a ravine and storm off without it. They’re going to focus on their day job because at least it pays.

 

I am on my seventh manuscript.

That’s not including the countless short stories I’ve written over the years since I decided, at age 18, that I was going to take this writing malarkey seriously. I sold a good few short stories to some terrible markets, for basically pennies, and most of those places ended up closing down on account of them being shite, and my stories being shite, and it all just being shite, really.

But later, I made some professional sales. I sold a short story to Mischief Books, a Harper Collins imprint, and was paid £75. For a 2,000 – 3,000 word short story, that wasn’t too bad.

But I wanted to be a novelist. I still do. And you know what? I am. I’m just unpublished so far, and that is NORMAL. I just have my very own slush pile to work through, and I am a very, very busy woman.

The problem with the slush pile is that you’ve got this backlog of work, which you’ll recall as being terrible one day and amazing on another. You’ll read snippets and burst with pride. You’ll read other snippets and wonder what the heck you were on about.

But mostly, you’ll still burst with pride. I do, and that’s what’s most confusing – because you’re forever left with this question in your mind: why not me?

There is never, ever any way of telling if you’re actually good at this stuff. There just isn’t. You can read as many novels as you like, and coo over Margaret Atwood and even accept that you’ll never, ever hold a candle to her – but it’ll  never reveal a single thing about yourself and your ability as a writer.

You have a slush pile, but you are no agent. You’re just a writer. You can’t see between the lines like they do.

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The worst part, of course, is ALWAYS the editing.

Right now, I’m working through my three YA novels (two of the others are the terrible first two novels; the third an adult Gothic horror; the fourth a novella) and it’s like staring at a mile-high  junk yard. Somewhere inside it are all the parts to build a Ferrari – except I don’t know what a Ferrari looks like under the bonnet, and I don’t know how the heck to build one anyway.

Doesn’t stop me wanting to drive one though, ’cause y’know…I reckon I’d look good in it.

That is a terrible, rubbish, awful analogy. I can’t even drive.

OH Christ, you get the picture. Use your imagination – you’re an author, aren’t you?! AREN’T YOU?!

Editing. Urgh.

I finished my first run-through of editing and re-reading my latest novel, Beyond (previously “Prom Spirit” was the working title, just ’cause). It finished up at 80,800 words -ish.

It wasn’t nearly as horrible as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good, either. During the writing process, when you’re all obsessed with the new story and it basically consumed your daily life, it’s easy to just think “This is the best thing I’ve ever written.” I did this. I convinced myself this was the  book to end all books. I do this with EVERY book I write.

At its heart, Beyond is just a simple story of two lost souls figuring out how to let go of their past lives.

In essence, I still love it. But once I’ve finished writing and I’m left twiddling my thumbs, that’s when the doubt sets in. I start telling myself it’s frankly terrible and I’ve just wasted time on this thing – just like ALL  my other novels. Honestly? I think it’s just part of finishing a novel. You fall in love, you doubt it, you despise it, you fall in love again. Swings and roundabouts.

So now it’ll go off to my fiancé, who actually works as a technical editor, so he has a great eye for detail. He’ll (hopefully) pick out any clumsy phases and grammar/spelling mistakes that went under my radar, of which there will be loads. Loads and loads. Too many.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t really read YA. That makes me nervous, because although he’s always very encouraging about my work, it does make me wonder if he really gets it or even likes it for what it is. Naturally, he *loves* everything I write and thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread. But if somebody doesn’t normally read YA, they won’t know what I’m up against. He also could just be saying he loves it when really, he thinks it’s a pile of cringe-worthy crap.

Those are my fears, anyway. He vehemently denies it. We’ll see.

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I finished reading Under The Never Sky and absolutely ADORED it. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and a nice little review. Currently I’m reading Hush, Hush by Rebecca Fitzpatrick, which is a novel I’ve always been curious about seeing as it has, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and dramatic covers I’ve eve come across. I’ve also never read a fallen angels novel, and they seem to have been flavour of the month for, well, a lot of months…

Anyway, after that, I plan on reading the next book, Through The Ever Night on my camping trip, which is in a week’s time. Yippeee! Let’s hope the weather keeps up. How much do you bet I get stung  by a horrible, horrible, horrible wasp?