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Chick Lit

 I just listened to a Romantic Comedy novel on Audible. I haven't done that in a while. I can't quite believe I was in the mood for it, but since I moved back to my home town I've been so happy, and I guess Chick Lit is my happy place when it comes to writing. So maybe I'll write a new chick lit novel. I mean, the rom com I just 'read' wasn't hilarious, unless you consider the scenarios to be hilariously improbable in real life, but I was okay with that. The story was cute, and sometimes that's all I want. My most recent WIP is a science fiction novel. It's starting out under water. Or the main character being immersed in some kind of mysterious liquid anyway. And of course I want to finish writing it, I'd like to finish everything I start, but my brain wanders and I haven't finished anything since my last publication of Lament No Pain. Which was only a short story, so that was easy to finish in a short amount of time. Well it doesn't rea

NaNo Not Going Well 2021

  Well here we go again. It’s NaNoWriMo time of year and if you don’t know what that is then you shouldn’t be reading this anyway. I’ve tried to win NaNo every year since the stupid thing was invented. I think. I’m pretty sure anyway. Maybe a few years following it’s initial conception, but I swear I’ve been trying it every November for decades. Trouble is, I never know what to write. That is to say, I don’t know what to write anymore. I bashed out so many books in my thirties, and I loved what I wrote then, but over time I got sick of it. My books never sold viably and that meant I felt depressed so I wrote less. Fast forward a decade and here I am not being able to figure out what to write for NaNo. So here’s my contribution towards winning. I guess this year I’ll win by writing words about NaNo as a novel about how I can’t write a real novel! I had some ideas like Science Fiction, but they’re all so American.  Damn. I hate being American sometimes. I’ve been living in England for tw

How I Finished What I Started

 I've finally figured out what's been stopping me finishing what I start writing. It's because after a decade being an indie author with mostly non-viable book sales, I've been depressed and when I start a new manuscript now I'll get one chapter in and then think: THIS WON'T SELL EITHER. So I stop writing and delete the whole thing. Well now I'm being me and I'm going back to writing for myself. That's the way I used to do it, and it meant I bloody well finished every manuscript I started writing! So yeah, the secret to being able to finish what you start is getting that pesky critical goblin out of your head telling you that your book will never sell. If you write what you love then you'll want to finish it. While you're writing you can't be thinking about sales and marketing, that's ridiculous and totally uncreative. Fiction writing stems from 100% creativity so go and write it and finish it. Okay I will. Good.

Grand Theft Astro by Scott Meyer

It is the distant future, and Baird is a loner, a part time spy, and a notorious alleged thief. “Notorious” for the audacity of her crimes; “alleged” because nobody has ever been able to legally prove she committed any of them. When the hush-hush agency known as the Toolbox recruits Baird, being a clandestine operative seems like a great way to get paid to do what she already does anyway. That is, until a mission goes wrong, and Baird is infected with a deadly virus. With only seven days to live, Baird has to complete a series of daring missions, each one designed to bring her closer to a cure. Allegedly. Baird suspects the Toolbox might not be telling her the whole truth. She's not sure what to believe or who to trust. And the clock is ticking.  This was pretty good in that it solidly kept pace. Things kept happening from one heist to the next. The ending was tidy enough, for a story about devious people. All of them. The main character was shady, not only in her thievery ways

Need A Little Time by Adam Eccles, A Review

Sometimes, the strangest things can happen, right on your doorstep. When you find out your best friend and business partner is secretly sleeping with your wife, it may be time to move on.... From your job and your marriage.... Which is precisely what happened to Jamie Newgent. A change of lifestyle is what’s needed, and a bachelor pad on the fourth floor of a jutting tower provides a new home, a fresh start, and a new chapter in his life. Little does he know of the weird and wonderful journey he’s about to take, or the effects a temporal rift has on the building plumbing and his troublesome toaster. He’s living in the middle of an anomaly sandwich, with a retro woman upstairs, and a feisty hippy downstairs. But will either of them become anything more than friends? And, If it came down to it, would he be able to make the ultimate sacrifice to save a life: Could he go back to an era before the internet and smartphones? This story was a great little adventure that didn't cause me tre

How Social Media Helps You Write

 When I go on Twitter and I see my fellow fiction writers tweeting wise about all things literary prose, I get excited and I want to carry on with my own novel writing. This blog post might seem peppy and annoying, but really it's not. I'm just so stoked about a new novel idea so... HOLD UP. Don't go there. Do not start that crap again. You are not allowed to start a new manuscript without having finished your last one. But- No buts about it! Finish what you start , girl. Okay, now that's out of the way I can just do a little insert here about my new novel idea that I promise to put aside for later. Totally AFTER the completion of the manuscript I have on the go at the moment. But yeah, blogging about stuff, sharing with writers on twitter and facebook, etc. It's a great community for keeping up your writing spirits. Especially with the way things are at the moment. Well, the way things have been during an actual global pandemic. Sometimes when I think about it I st

Playing God

 I've often thought about writing a novel that includes every character from all my books. I've written 17 novels and stories to date, so I definitely have a lot to chose from. Sort of like writing my own fan fiction? Weird and wonderful. Also, I will put myself into my book. So a novel where the author gets sucked in by the irritated will-power of the very characters she's created! Now that's diabolical. Just think what put-upon characters would do in such a situation. What would you do if you discovered that your life was controlled by a higher power. By someone literally writing out what you thought were your own choices, or bombarding you with tragedy.  Dang. At least I've always given my characters happy endings. Haven't I? Image credit: blueberrykings111,

Most Important Marketing Strategy For Book Sales is Your Book's Cover

I'm currently doing a marketing course and it finally dawned on me that there's no need to stress about having an author brand. I realised the way to look at book sales and getting readers, is to come at book marketing from my own perspective. And what's the first thing I do when looking for a new audiobook to listen to? I see the book's cover. I might not even see the title at first. The cover as a whole will stand out with the right typography and imagery. It all needs to blend and strike out at a potential reader at very first glance. Like love at first sight, but with books. Think about it. When you make eye contact with a stranger you become intrigued as to why they strike you so suddenly, that you want to know more. Of course, with strangers you're not really going to find out more, especially not out on a daily run or walk, but when you see an enticing cover, you're already hooked on finding out more about the book, and you most certainly can. So you look

Allowing Actual Time to Write

I've been struggling to write for over 2 years now. That is, I've been struggling to finish anything. I think my problem lies in wanting to start over every new day I sit down to write. I'm guessing the solution to that is to go back to my blog post about writing a short story every time. I absolutely cannot come back to a manuscript in the middle of a scene. If that scene is incomplete I'll re-read it, decide it's shit, and delete the whole thing. Therefore I really must finish what I start on a daily basis. I've got to become a planner. That's not to say I need to start plotting or outlining, heavens no. That stifles creativity. And I wouldn't mind-plot when I'm not actually writing. There's no point in that either and it's actually damaging to new prose. No, what I need to do is to organise my time.  I need to sit down and chart out what actual writing time I'll have during the day. I need to know when I'll run out of time so that

Meghan & Harry on Oprah - My 100th Blog Post

I just watched the Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah. It was nice to see and hear their perspective on everything that's happened. The vile British media and racists will continue to condemn them on a daily basis, I'm sure. But that doesn't matter now. What matters is Meghan and Harry are happy. They can finally live their lives, be happy in the love they share, and take care of each other as a family. I felt so bad for Meghan.  I moved to the UK to be with my British husband way back in 2001. I too am a woman of mixed race. The culture shock alone that I suffered would have been unbearable if I'd been in her situation. I didn't marry into royalty, but I married into Britishness and I had no idea about the differences in culture at the time.  Just a few months into my new marriage and new life in England things just fell out from beneath my feet. I was in a bad marriage and in a foreign country and all I wanted to do was go home. My husband at the time didn'

How to Stay Motivated & Finish What You Start

How do you stay motivated to finish that project you've started, once begun? That is the question. For 2 years now I haven't finished any manuscript I've started. The most I've written was half a novel. Like 20,000 words then just abandoned it. The last manuscript I abandoned was 3000 words long, but usually my projects get tossed aside after a few hundred words. Maybe if I blog about it I can brainstorm my way into finishing what I start. Let's figure out why I get unenthusiastic at what point in my writing. Oh I know the answer already. It's when I think about my book when I'm not writing. When I mind-plot I sometimes come up with the entire outline, all the way to the end of the story. So then that's it for my burgeoning imagination. It was exciting for me to brainstorm that outline, but then I have to write all that plotting up and I get super bored with the thought of doing that. The entire point of writing fiction is to entertain myself while I'

How To Keep Writing Wacky Science Fiction

HOW TO KEEP WRITING WACKY SCIENCE FICTION - (or any fiction for that matter) - especially during a global pandemic It started with Superstellar; my book about a pink-haired (earthling) girl who gets beamed aboard a space ship and becomes an intergalactic space queen. Twice!  Since then my penchant for writing wacky space adventures has overwhelmed, to say the least. Next, I wrote Superpower . My story about a girl not from earth who's on earth, but she discovers earth is absolutely not where she's from. Also, she has the superpowers of the elements: earth, air, fire, and water. I went on to start writing Supernatural about an earth girl from earth, so far. She's haunted by the echo device in her house. She's convinced there's a ghost in the machine. Is it possessed A.I. or is she the one about to become digitally possessed? But I got sidetracked and started writing an even more wacky science fiction novel. It wasn't even supposed to be science fiction. The thi

How to write a novel if you've a short attention span

  Having a short attention span is a good thing, honestly. Especially in writing. Short stories, essays, blog posts, articles, content / copy writing. If you have a short attention span it means you highly focus and concentrate on one thing while you're working on it. However, be forewarned, if that focus is interrupted it tends to evaporate from interest with instant effect. For example, I'll make this blog post as short and to the point as possible. I don't want to lose your interest by rambling. I myself almost lost interest in posting this in the time it took my old computer to start up so I could begin writing it! So basically in order to write an entire novel (which takes more than one sitting, writing being interrupted by the need to eat and sleep, amongst other things) I write short stories and then put them together as one entire book. Initially I'll get an idea in my mind for a whole novel. I'll write it down and then become frustrated when I write the fir

Let's Create a Novel Character

Start with someone you know, or know of. If it's someone from your life I suggest writing under a pseudonym. Now, whom have I met recently? Well, we are in a pandemic so I don't exactly bump into new people often. I'm usually always at home. So I wonder... Okay, I think I have something. Last night I had to drive out at 1:30 in the morning. For nefarious reasons? I'll let you decide. Oh wait. No I won't. I don't want anyone thinking I was out spreading the virus. Okay it was a boring reason, but still an interesting time of night, no? I was out helping with a car break down. The end. Anyway, I saw a person at the end of my street as I was driving out. This person made me think of the song The Freaks Come Out at Night. My reason for thinking this was the way he was dressed. A grey hoodie. That's not too freaky. Black sweatpants / joggers. Normal enough, to the knees anyway. For some reason his sweats were shoved up over his knees and he was wearing thick wool

My Favourite Audiobooks From 2020

It takes me ages of searching and sample listening to find good audibooks to listen to, but when I find gems I feel the need to share them so that others will know to "read" them as well! Seriously, I loved the audiobooks that follow below...  If anyone knows of audibooks similar to any of those I've listened to, please let me know. Sometimes I have to search and search for weeks and weeks until I find something worthy of my listening ears. So quality, similar recommends are very appreciated. I cannot express how important character driven stories are to me, and the first two titles below are perfect examples of characters who are so well written and developed, that by the end of the book they are real people in my mind.  Florida Man by Mike Baron  The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman  The Warlock Holmes series of audiobooks by GS Denning  The Magic 2.0 series, and all other audiobooks by Scott Meyer  The End of the World is Nigh - Alley Oldfield Book 1 and The Last