NaNoWriMo, Writing Fears, Interviews, and Everything Else!

Good news: I finished the final edit on Creepy Christmas yesterday! It will be out on November 15th – stay tuned for a proper post and more info about it coming soon!

I’ve also been promoting Kismetology and have had a couple of interviews with lovely websites recently!
Firstly, I was chatting to Novelicious over the weekend here: Novelicious Chats To… Jaimie Admans
And yesterday I was talking to the lovely Isabella at Chick Lit Goddess: Here and there’s a lovely little post about Kismetology here too!

So, it’s NaNoWriMo time of year. It’s the month when thousands (many, many thousands judging by how glitchy the site is as usual!) gather together online and attempt to write a novel in a month.
Not counting the Camp NaNos that run in the summer months, this is my seventh year of participating, and (hopefully) sixth year of winning.
I’m actually doing things a little differently this year, in as much as usually I write 3-4K words a day and finish by the fifteenth of the month. I don’t have time to do nothing but write this year, so I’m doing it the ‘proper’ way and only aiming for 1,667 words a day. This is quite unusual for me, and every day when I finish my writing, I get the feeling of “is that it?”
I’ve currently written 15,000 words of the required 50,000 words, which isn’t too bad for a week, although I know there will be some days missed due to other book commitments!

I actually work a lot like NaNoWriMo, even when it’s not November. I don’t write every day of the year. I spend a couple of months planning the novel – researching, outlining, character building, picturing scenes. I have to be sure that my premise will stretch into an 80,000+ word novel. When I am sure, I then set a month or so where I am going to WRITE THE NOVEL. When it’s novel writing time, that’s it. No more research, no more procrastinating (that one doesn’t always work…) If something needs researching more then I stick in a mark to look it up later. If a character or place doesn’t have a name, they become Character1, Town2, BastardA and BastardB, etc. until the editing stage when I have a chance to sort them out and name them properly.

And every time that I sit down to write, the overwhelming fear is “What if I can’t do it again?” Because I don’t write every single day of the year. Because I can often go months without writing anything ‘new’ (only re-writing and editing) when it comes to sitting down to write another novel, I always think that I won’t be able to do it again. Sure, last time it went well. Sure, last time the characters practically wrote it for me. Plot lines appeared out of nowhere and told themselves. I have written seven complete novels, and four half-novels that are works in progress. Hopefully by the end of NaNo, that will be eight complete novels. Hopefully by the end of December that will nine complete novels with only two WIPs left. And yes, some of them will never, ever see the light of day. Some of them are so bad I’m embarrassed to read over them. My first novel was a tense-jumping nightmare and the only thing that it will ever be useful for is lighting a fire.

So despite having written a lot, I still don’t think I can do it. I still don’t think the words will come easily and the story will tell itself. It has been a pleasant surprise to be working on my NaNo novel this year and find it relatively easy to write. I have not lost ‘it’ in the months since I last wrote something new.

After NaNo, my plan is to finish the Christmas novel that I started last year. I find it incredibly hard to write Christmas stories when it isn’t Christmas, although I have had to do it this year when I spent August re-writing Creepy Christmas. If I ignore this one now, I probably won’t work on it again until next winter, so I do want to spend December trying to get it finished – only another 50k or so to go… Er, yeah. That should be easy. Not.

Of course, there’s also the small matter of releasing Creepy Christmas and promoting that and Kismetology!

I know a lot of you reading this are writers too. Do you ever feel like this? Am I the only one who constantly believes that their last novel will be the last novel?

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Talking about writing… And other things!

Today I’m doing an interview with the lovely Tracie Banister on her blog Books By Banister – We’re talking writing, Kismetology, Creepy Christmas, and lots of other fun questions that I’ve never been asked before! You can read it here, and even better, you can enter to win a copy of Kismetology!

It’s so much fun doing interviews – it makes me feel like a proper author! A huge thanks to Tracie for having me. If you like chick-lit, you should check out her books too!

Secondly, thank you to everyone who voted in the Creepy Christmas cover poll. The cover that has been chosen is — [drum roll] — Cover 2! It was actually three votes behind in the poll, but a few people pointed out that cover 1 was too young. The book is aimed at ages 8 and up, but cover 1 made it look like a much younger children’s book. I’m still putting the finishing touches to the cover, but stay tuned for a reveal soon!

What else? Hmm. I entered the Kismetology cover into The Book Designer’s Ebook Cover Design Awards, and got some lovely comments for it! Have a look here. Well happy with that!

I’ve also signed up for NaNoWriMo again – my seventh year now! God knows how I’m going to find time for it this year, but I will try my hardest! Writing a novel in a month is never easy, especially when you’ve got another book to promote and yet another book to release! If anyone else is doing NaNo and wants to add me as a buddy, my ID is ChickLitWriterGirl on the site – profile here!

Creepy Christmas – Cover Poll

I have a dilemma. I have been staring at Christmas book covers for the best part of two weeks, I’ve narrowed it down to two choices, and now I’m stuck. I can’t decide between them! So I thought I’d ask someone else for help!

Please, please, please would you vote for the cover you prefer in the poll below?

One of these will be the book cover for Creepy Christmas, a novel which will be out in November. Bear in mind that this is a 50,000 word novel for children – aimed at ages around 8 and up (and anyone else who wants to read it, obviously!)

Which cover do you like best?

Cover 1:

Cover 2:

— Updated October 16th – poll closed, thanks for voting!


Thank you, guys! You’re all amazing!

Finally! Finished edits of Creepy Christmas!

I know, I know. Kismetology has barely hit the shelves and I’m already going on about the next book. But there is a good reason – the next book is a Christmas story, so marketing time is very limited. Let’s face it, there’s no point in releasing a Christmas book at any time of year other than in the weeks before Christmas! No one wants to read Christmas stories in July, do they?!

This one is a children’s story, middle-grade, so aimed at around ages 8 and up. I don’t know, to be honest. This is my first time writing a children’s story. It’s called Creepy Christmas, and now it’s been sent to be edited, my next job is to design the cover!

I finally finished my edits on it yesterday afternoon. It feels like I’ve been doing it for ages, and it’s been a good few weeks of re-writing, re-arranging bits, and editing. It’s nearer to Christmas now, but when I started the editing process, it was early August and it’s quite strange to be writing about Christmas at the height of summer!

And, no sooner had I finished my edits, a lovely courier delivered this little guy:

A new Scentsy warmer, suitably Christmas themed! He melts cubes of scented wax that make the room smell nice. He arrived with such good timing that I had to get him out and plug him in immediately. I don’t even mind that it’s not October yet, let alone time to get the snowmen out!

Kismetology Release Day – It’s out! It’s out now!

Release day is finally here! My first novel, Kismetology, is officially released as an ebook today!
Kismetology Cover

I can’t believe how exciting this is. To be honest, I thought all I’d feel today was nerves, but I’m much more excited than I am nervous!
I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone again. Everyone has been so amazingly supportive, it’s unreal. If you’ve even taken the time to read this post, thank you!

Of course, the point of the post is to tell you where to buy the book…
You can read a sample or buy the book on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.
Amazon: FR, DE, ES, IT.
And coming very, very soon to Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks.

You do not need a Kindle to read it. Amazon do a lovely little free Kindle app, which you can download to your computer, phone or tablet-thingy, and read any Kindle book you wish on it.

Many other formats available on Smashwords.

Of course, you don’t have to buy the book. I’ll still like you even if you don’t, I promise!

I cannot believe, absolutely can’t believe that my writing, which has been gathering virtual dust on my hard drive for far too many years to mention, is actually out there in the world. People may actually read something I wrote.
What a brilliant feeling!

Kismetology: Cover, blurb and release date!

I think it might be time to start talking about my book, seeing as it comes out this week. This week!

This is the cover:
Kismetology Cover

The blurb:
Finding the perfect man isn’t easy. Especially when it’s for your mother…

Mothers. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, can’t live three doors down the road without them interfering in every aspect of your life.

Fed up with her mum meddling in her love life, Mackenzie Atkinson decides to turn the tables and find love for her lonely mother.
Her lonely and very fussy mother.
Surely finding an older gentleman looking for love won’t be that hard, right?
Wrong.
If you’ve ever thought that boys grow up, here’s the problem: They don’t. Ever.
And Mackenzie is about to learn that the hard way…

 

And the release date:
September 14th! Better known as: This Friday! *cue excited headless chicken impersonation*

Stay tuned for an excerpt!

Thank you!

I had to do a post about this because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The support I’ve had since I decided to self-publish has been unbelievable. My dad has offered help. My brother and sister-in-law have been amazing, interested and supportive! My mum is incredibly supportive, although not overly impressed that I borrowed some of her quirks for the mum in the book. (A love of Martin Clunes, for example!) (Seriously. If anyone can shed some light on that one, feel free!)
My online friends are amazing. Cheerleading me all the way and promising they won’t get sick of me going on and on about writing.
People I’ve only just met on Twitter are encouraging and brilliant.

And okay, so no one has read the book yet. They may read it, think it’s crap, and hate me forever.

But I openly admit that I didn’t expect support, especially from people who know me in real life. Especially from the ones who don’t know what a Kindle is and don’t understand how I can be a writer if WH Smith don’t stock my book. But they have all been there, asking me about the book, about the process, how long it will be before it’s out so they can tell their friends to buy it.
It’s the complete opposite of what I expected. I honestly expected complete and utter indifference, of a “that’s nice” and an uninterested handwave variety.
And I’m sure that says more about me than it does about my friends and family, but it has been a very pleasant surprise and a nice lesson in human nature.

So, to everyone, even to you who has taken the time to read this: THANK YOU!

Sidenote: My release date is next week. Next Friday, to be precise. I apologise in advance for shameless plugging everywhere it is possible to shameless plug!

Other sidenote: On the plus side, it appears my day of formatting has worked and the file seems to have converted nicely for Kindle. I haven’t built up the courage to tackle Smashwords yet.
Not too keen on the KDP preview of my cover image though. Hope it looks better than that on the site!

Getting ready to publish…

The publishing date is getting closer! Although nothing is set in stone yet, I’m hoping to publish my first novel in about two weeks time. That said, I haven’t started on formatting it yet, and given some of the formatting horror stories I’ve heard, perhaps 2014 would be a more accurate publication date!

My novel has been edited to within an inch of it’s life. It went to the final proofreader yesterday. She has already found an error that is so blindingly obvious I’m embarrassed to have missed it myself!

I feel completely unprepared. I’ve been reading every bit of self-publishing advice I can get my hands on for months now, and I still feel that I don’t know enough and that I’m not prepared enough, but I also think that perhaps the only way to do this is to do it. I see other authors who have got reviews and publicity weeks before they’ve got a book out, and I have no idea how they managed it, considering I haven’t even formatted my book yet! I think that I will always be unorganised and feel like this, even when I’m releasing my twentieth book! (Don’t worry, I don’t really have twenty books! Yet!)

So, I’m jumping in with both feet.
And if anyone has any advice, it would be welcomed with open arms!