Belated Celebrations

January and the beginning of February was an interesting time for me, with some news that I thought I was coping quite well with, though in hindsight perhaps I was not… but all’s good now (I think), and there were a few good things that happened that I want to mention:

First, myself and two of my writing buddies: Aislinn Batstone and Kelly Matsuura, were published in the Independent Author Index’s Short Story Compilation, volume 2 on 31 Dec 2012 (Aussie time). I did start to read this, but only got a few stories through before life was temporarily turned upside down. I can say, that the stories I read so far are incredibly diverse – from writing style, to topic. Some I loved, some I wasn’t so impressed with, but even so I’m really looking forward to getting back into it again and reading the rest of the stories. The compilation is available for sale in ebook form from Amazon.  With stories to suit every taste, I think it’s worth the low price of $2.99!

The second bit of good news is another compilation! Those same ladies from my writing group and I were published in The Flashing Type, Issue 1: 50 Stories from freeflashfiction.com. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember that I had a flash fiction fantasy “One” published at Free Flash Fiction around the middle of last year. That story is now available in the compilation, which is available for an even lower price of 99 cents! This is one I have not yet had a chance to read, but I’m looking forward to getting to it soon.

Also, I submitted a query for my novella – A Faery Dream, to The Wild Rose Press, and the full manuscript was requested. Confirmation that I can write a decent query lol!

I was lucky enough to win a critique in early January by Joanne Wadsworth. She looked over the first 4 pages of my story, Red Sky. If you remember (did I tell you?) I entered this into the Seizure novella comp back in November, and sadly it wasn’t chosen. However Joanne gave me some brilliant feedback. She had some very encouraging words on my writing, and pointed out where I could tighten the text. Every so often Joanne offers these critiques as prizes on her blog, and she has some great posts on writing – so go follow her!!

And the last piece of good news, is that I entered Red Sky, into ABNA – The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and it passed through first round! It was selected, along with 1999 others, from a total of 10,000 novels! That is amazing and I am so excited and nervous.  This is more confirmation on my ability to pitch, as it was the pitch that was judged in this round. Second Round is announced on 12th March (USA time – 13th March over here in Aus), and judges an excerpt of the story – up to the first 5000 words. I still have an anxious few weeks to wait, though I have a few old stories to edit, and new ideas to explore – so plenty to keep me occupied!

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The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop

Wow! I’ve just been tagged in my very first blog hop!!  Thanks so much to LaVerne Clark for tagging me!

LaVerne writes Romance and has two brilliant e-books published. You can find more information about her and her books at her blog: http://www.laverneclark.blogspot.com.au/

 

There are blog hop rules:

****Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you

**** Post the rules for the blog hop

****Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog

****Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

 

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?  Red Sky

Where did the idea come from for the book?  I had committed to participate in Camp Nano, in June of this year, and was desperately searching for something to write about. There was a red sky one night, and the old phrase “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight” came to me, and instantly I had a flash of inspiration – a group of characters and their history, and a vague idea of where they were headed.

What genre does your book fall under?  Fantasy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  Honestly I have not even thought that far ahead? That will need some more thought…
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  One sentence synopsis… haven’t written one yet, so lets see what I come up with: How about. “As the only female Pirate Captain in the whole of the nine seas Morgan has had more struggles than most, but can she cope when weakling James is thrust into her crew as they set off in search of the Greybeard’s legendary treasure – their most dangerous adventure yet?” Does that make it sound like a children’s book? It’s not supposed to be a children’s book…
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  I’m not sure I’m confident enough to self-publish just yet. This story is aimed for a novella competition coming up very soon, otherwise I will find somewhere else to submit it…

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  19 days to write just over 50,000 words.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  I’m no good at comparing my work with others.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? Another tricky question! The inspiration just struck me, a few days before Nano started in June. I had been dreaming about mermaids a lot before hand, and knew my story should be about the sea, so when the pirate story idea came I knew I had to run with it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  The story features not only pirates and treasure, but also mermaids and to a lesser degree, magic.

 Thanks LaVerne for tagging me! 😀

Now – this is the point where I am supposed to tag 5 other bloggers – but most of the bloggers I know have already been tagged!! If you would like to join in let me know and I’ll tag you here! It’s a lot of fun!

NanoWrimo 2012 – who’s with me?

The people at National Novel Writing Month have released the Nanowrimo 2012 website today!!

Nanowrimo is brilliant, and this will be the third time this year I have participated – having joined in the June and August Camp Nano sessions.

If you’re thinking about Nano but not sure if you really want to commit to writing 50,ooo words in 30 days: check out these 10 reasons you should sign up!! (taken straight from the Office of Letters and Light’s blog (OLL are Nanowrimo’s parent company…) (http://blog.lettersandlight.org/post/32671611607/10-reasons-you-should-do-nanowrimo)

1. Because you get this deep down feeling in your bones after you read an amazing story; a need to drop everything right then and write something, too. Because every once in a while, while riding your bike, you mull over the dream you had last night and suddenly wish you were being chauffeured so you could whip out a pen and jot that bit of dialogue down and see where it takes you.

That feeling isn’t going away, is it? It’s because your spark of inspiration feeds off an inexhaustible fuel. There are people out there who think, ‘That would make a decent story,’ and then never bother themselves about it again. They are a credit to their parents in many other ways, but they don’t have the particular fire that burns in you. Don’t waste your light.

2. You’re afraid to try. Here’s the thing, ‘afraid to try’ is, like, the next-door neighbor of ‘want to try’. Heck, they’re basically roommates. ’Don’t want to try’ is actually four counties over.

As much as we talk about the guilt monkeys that will plague you during the month when you let your word count languish, if December 1 rolls around and you haven’t reached 50,000 words, they are surprisingly compassionate. They will pat you on the shoulder. They will point out that you’ve written 100 words more than you would have if you hadn’t bothered. They will stroke your hair.

That last one isn’t out of compassion, but hunger. Still, it’s nice.

3. You have an idea.

4. Everyone agrees that November is a totally boring month; worse than August. Mostly, there is absolutely nothing of worth happening. “What about Thanksgiving?” I hear many of you asking. Fun fact: the only other country that even celebrates Thanksgiving is Canada, and theirs is in October.

“But I’m so busy with school/work/other!” others of you cry out. I, too, used this reasoning once, to convince my mom that I had absolutely no spare time to play the piano at her dance class’ rehearsals.

Her reply? “Let’s talk about how little time you’d have if we sent you out to your cousins in Korea, and you were engaged in rigorous academic study from seven in the morning to nine at night.” Turns out I had a couple hours, actually, to plunk out waltzing triplets.

All joking aside, November can be a tough month to find the time to write, but the only way to guarantee that you will not have time to write a novel is to make no attempt to look for it.

5. You love writers. NaNoWriMo comes with a community of a quarter million creators like you, who will be breathing life into their characters by your side. On October 31, you can feel a collective inhale starting in New Zealand, and traveling west across the globe, and then a whoosh when November 1 hits. It is epic. It is awesome.

When I spend a lot of time with bro-ier friends, I start speaking the language, complete with a strong peppering of ‘dude’, ‘sick’, ‘swole’, etc. We are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Sometimes, this doesn’t work out for the better (as my example could demonstrate; your mileage may vary). With the right people, though, it can be very real and uniquely human magic power to compile individual resources of will into one giant pool to push each other to achieve the improbable.

6. Do you hate pep? Are encouragement and optimism and persistence distasteful to you? Do you wrinkle your nose at can-do spirit? Good news! We have a place for you over here in the quiet corner, where you can steadily write, consult your stats, and self-motivate to your heart’s content.

Everyone else, brace yourself for advice from published authors, tips and relevant anecdotes from NaNo HQ, word sprints run by your MLs, and pop culture references galore. (We cannot promise these references will be either up-to-date or cool. I will, however, spare you the rendition of ‘Write Me Maybe’ that we belt in the office.)

7. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, and are hoping to avoid sunburn and the possibility of skin cancer, let me introduce you to the indoor sport we call NaNoWriMo!

If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, and hoping to avoid snow, rain, general chilliness, haaave you met NaNo?

8. There are people out there who will say, “NaNoWriMo is a waste of your time.” Sometimes, they will go on to say, “You cannot write a novel in a month, and any first draft that comes out of a rush to pen it in 30 days will be completely useless to you.”

If you are a patient person who would like to engage these naysayers, there are two responses to this sort of person, which depends on how they answer the question: “Have you ever written a novel?”

  • If they say, “No, I have not completed a novel,” you are allowed, even encouraged, to pause, smile kindly and say, simply, “Interesting.”
  • If they say, “Yes, I have completed a novel,” you might say, “That’s fantastic. High five—come on, up top! I think this is how I’m going to push myself to do something I’ve always wanted to do, like you did. I don’t know if I’ll end up trying to publish a novel, but if I do, I know writing one is the first step towards doing that.”

If you are not patient, a pretty solid response is, “Cool, I think I’m going to do it anyway.” There’s a decent amount of satisfaction to be found in openly disregarding the haters.

9. Because you have a story worth telling. First, here is what we’re not entitled to: being listened to by the masses. The honest truth is that attention is earned. But there can be incredible epiphanies that come from telling yourself your story. There are so many possibilities inside you. It’s a worthy thing you do, exploring those paths.

Everybody starts with an audience of one, and nobody has the right to silence you, not even your own inner editor.

10. You love to write.

And I would add my own reasons: Because by trying something that seems completely insane you learn that you can, in fact, achieve the impossible, and upon achieving the impossible, that sense of satisfaction is absolutely brilliant! There is also the sense of community if you take an active part of the forums – even though you may be typing away all by yourself in your own little room, there are thousands of writers to chat to at the drop of a hat – so many people experiencing the same issues with their stories, or ready with advice and motivation to keep you on track!

(And I forgot to say – if you’re under 18, and would love to try this but don’t think you can make 50k there is always the Young Writer’s Program – Nano for youngsters! – where you can set your own word goal! Check it out here: http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/)

Six Sentence Sunday

 

A friend of mine, Kelly, who blogs at Black Wings and White Paper, has recently joined in Six Sentence Sunday – the idea being to share the first 6 sentences of a story. I thought I’d join in too.

The following is the first six sentences of Chapter 26 of my novella ‘Red Sky’. It is around 47,000 words at the moment, and going through a beta reading by several of my writer buddies, ready for improvement… 🙂

 

You undoubtedly have questions about me, about my race.

What happens to the men? Most assume that there are no men – that our species is lacking because we birth only girls. They would be wrong. Those who have delved into the ancient texts will discover mention of our men – strong warriors who defended us against the early humans. But then we women discovered our own weapons. 

 

What do you think she is? And from that guess – what do you think her weapons are??

Affinity by LaVerne Clark – Review

Some of you may remember me posting an invite to the Online Release Party of the above book – Affinity by LaVerne Clark.

Here is my (very belated) review!

Affinity is a paranormal romance and I love that extra element to the story. It tells the story of Jenna, a woman of Japanese descent who has the ability to call creatures and take on their attributes at will. Her talent is hereditary, passed down through her father’s line.

As an adult Jenna has managed to hide the truth about herself, but when she uses her abilities to rescue a young boy she finds herself getting more attention than she hoped for from sexy policeman Nick. Nick is troubled by his work as a cop. When he meets Jenna he knows she is hiding something, and follows his instinct to find out what it is. Their relationship quickly blooms, but as Jenna’s ability suddenly evolves to include humans as well, Nick is scared off.

When Jenna’s heroic rescue is reported in all parts of the globe, a man with ulterior motives seeks to obtain control over Jenna and her abilities. When other attempts fail, he kidnaps Nick forcing Jenna to give herself up in order to save the man she loves.

This ebook is published by The Wild Rose Press, if you’d like to read Affinity go to the website and purchase a copy for yourself. And while you’re there – you can pick up LaVerne’s first ebook – ‘Guardian of the Jewel’. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=841&zenid=a675f0743df82dabd40bb26bf09e201b