S R Silcox - Author

Blog updated 2-3 times a month.

Tag: Writing (page 1 of 2)

Author Blog Hop – Writing My First Novel

I am excited to be participating in a new blog hop initiated by author A.E. Radley, along with a host of other lesfic authors. I can’t wait to see what topics this blog hop throws up.

The first one is Writing my first novel

A great first topic to break the ice with. Plus, it really made me go back and think about what it was like writing my first novel, which one it actually was and how it all came about.

My very first novel, written and published, was Crush, which became the first book in the Girls of Summer series.

It didn’t start out as a novel though. It actually started out as a novella, written only from Tess’s point of view.

My intention with the Girls of Summer books was to make them short and sweet, and in print, on the smaller size. Something you could put in your back pocket and carry with you.

A couple of my Dolly and First Love books – I read these when I was 12-14.

The Dolly romances and Silhouette First Loves books I read in my youth (now I’m showing my age) were small books that were easy to read. I ploughed through them while sitting in the stacks in my school library (I never actually borrowed them – I guess I didn’t want them on my library record for some reason).

I wanted to emulate those books from my youth, but where girls fall for girls.

So, the first iteration of Crush was a 21,000-word novella about Tess meeting and falling for the enigmatic Maddie.

I loved that book so much, and so did my first readers.

I sent it off to a publisher, who got back to me within a few weeks (totally unexpected as they normally take a few months) and said they loved the book and the concept of the Girls of Summer series.

They then dangled the carrot for getting the book into print – if I wanted my book to become a real, live paperback instead of just an ebook, I’d have to increase the word count to their minimum print requirement, which at the time was 40,000 words.

As you can imagine, that was a HUGE ask. It meant doubling the word count and reworking the story entirely.

After long discussions with my first readers, editor and wife, I decided to at least attempt to increase the word count and see what happened. After all, a lot of young adult readers still buy their books in print format, rather than ebooks, so I’d be missing a big chunk of readers if I didn’t get it into print.

And what was the absolute easiest way to double the word count?

To tell the other side of the story, of course.

So I set about writing Maddie’s side of the story and alternated it with Tess’s, which gave me some great new fun scenes and a better insight into the story overall.

There were a LOT of changes (some of the early scenes ended up closer to the end of the book, and some of the later scenes were brought forward, and some scenes I changed from Tess telling them to Maddie), but in the end, I have to say that adding Maddie’s side of the story, while it proved to be a lot of hard work, made it so much better.

After some editing passes to check for continuity (always a major problem with such a huge rewrite), I sent it back off to the publisher with high hopes and waited for them to reply.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And in the end, a couple of days before Christmas, I got the rejection I expected when I first submitted it.

As you can imagine, after getting such great comments the first time around, I was totally unprepared for them to reject the second iteration.

I have no idea why that happened, but it totally shook me.

I spent a few weeks recovering from it and trying to work out what I wanted to do. I knew the story was a lot stronger for the new edits and editions and I struggled with that rejection after putting in so much hard work (at the publisher’s request).

In the end, my wife sat me down and made me realise that my intention was to self-publish my books in the first place and that that was still an option.

So that’s what I did.

I picked myself up off the floor, went through another round of edits, organised the first cover, and learned how to format ebooks and print books and published Crush myself.

And although I sometimes wonder what would have happened had that book been either accepted as it was in its novella form, or picked up after doubling the word count, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I still get to hear from readers of that book (and the others in the series), regardless of how the book made it into the world. And I still get to write what I love.

It’s bloody hard work doing most of it yourself, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 


** This post is part of the WLW Author Blog Hop, which includes authors from across the lesfic spectrum.  Each post will link to the next author in the series, so you can discover more about them and their books.**

Read how Barbara Winkes’ first NaNoWriMo project became a published novel, and a standalone story turned into seasons of love. Barbara Winkes is the author of 20+ lesfic titles, including the Carpenter/Harding thriller series. She lives in Québec, Canada, with her wife. You can read about her first novel here.

 

The Invisibility Cloak of an LGBTIQ YA Author

I’m preparing to give my very first author reading in a few weeks, which means I’ve been spitballing ideas on what to talk about that won’t bore the pants off people and maybe, hopefully, even convince them to buy a book or two.

After asking for advice from friends, thinking about the books I write, and reading a good friends brand new blog, I settled on my theme for my pre-reading talk.

Invisibility.

Invisibility is a superpower for those of us who are introverts. It comes in particularly handy for those of us who write in tiny niches, which LGBTIQ YA stories certainly are.

On the one hand, we wish our stories would get much more attention, if not because it would be good to actually make a living wage off our writing, then to be able to reach readers much more easily.

On the other hand, being invisible as an author writing in a tiny niche means almost never having to explain what you write. It means never feeling judged when you get pressed to answer the question ‘what type of YA do you write?’.

Sometimes, when you mention the word ‘lesbian’ in conjuction with being an author, the person you’re talking to jumps right over that assumption barrel and lands on ‘erotica’ – or at the very least, sex scenes.

It can be exhausting explaining that writing lesbian characters, particularly in the young adult genre, does not necessarily equal sex.

So anyway, thinking about this reading, and what I wanted to talk about, I had decided to explain why I choose to write happy lesbian YA fiction.

I’ve been taken to task by some people – not often but often enough – for not writing realistic characters, which essentially means that because my characters suffer no homophobia, have happy endings and have supportive family and friends around them, that I may as well call my books fantasies.

Apart from the fact that I have been lucky enough myself to have a happy ending, have suffered no outwardly bad homophobia that I can think of, and have loving and supportive friends and family, I just think there are other writers out there better positioned to write those darker stories than me.

And that led me to thinking about how authors like me stumble around on the fringes of the publishing industry.

I’m a niche within a niche – a self-published author writing in LGBTIQ YA/children’s fiction, but I don’t write coming out or angsty stories, which is what seems to be currently expected when you add the ‘LGBTIQ’ tag.

While the big publishers are starting to release more fiction in that niche, the authors of those stories still don’t get the huge backing that other authors of more mainstream genres (ie contemporary romance, fantasy, urban fantasy etc) do.

We’re in effect invisible.

Now, being invisible means we get to toil away, writing the stories we want to write without too much pressure being placed on us by publishers to go bigger and better than last time. (Although I do feel a pressure to write the best I possibly can for the readers I have and give them the stories they want to read, but that pressure is internal).

Being invisible also means there’s less chance of copping criticism. Less chance of someone dragging your hard work through the mud, just to take you down a peg or two because you haven’t managed to be inclusive enough.

Seriously. The LGBTIQ fanverse can be brutal – just ask Ruby Rose about what fans thought of her being cast as Batwoman in the upcoming TV series.

So invisibility affords us a get-out-of-jail-free card of sorts. It affords us a fall-back so that we don’t have to step outside of our comfort zone. We don’t have to stick our head above the parapet lest it get bruised or worse, taken clean off.

But invisibility also means that we feel isolated.

Invisibility means we feel like the only gay in the village, when in reality, that’s so often not true.

Invisibility stops us from living our best selves, and from connecting to others like us who will validate us and make us strong enough and confident enough to claim our own unique place in the world.

And so that’s what I’m going to talk about if I get the chance to do my reading next month.

I’m going to talk about how, even though it takes me weeks of mental preparation to talk to a group of people I don’t know, and then days to recover from the stress of it, that it’s important I stick my head up every now and then.

I’m going to talk about the fact that though some people don’t think my stories or my books are realistic, or even any good (which is entirely subjective anyway), that it’s important that I still write them because of those emails and social media messages I get from readers who are just discovering who they are; those who are living in families that aren’t accepting of their sexuality; those readers who have lost friends from coming out; they need my stories.

I know because they’ve told me.

Those readers need something light-hearted and fun, where the characters are accepted for exactly who they are. Where they’re surrounded by supportive friends and family. Where they get a happily ever after.

Those are the books I write. I’m not going to shy away from that anymore.

And I am going to do my damndest to get past my own awkwardness and my own tendency to hide away in order to get those stories to the kids who need them the most.

How catching a mouse taught me a lesson about writing

My wife yelled out “Got’im!” in the middle of the night a few days ago. No, she wasn’t dreaming. I was though, until that moment.

She’d been listening to a mouse run around our bedroom until finally, it found the food we’d left for it in the trap she’d set. She’d heard it go off while I was apparently blissfully unaware until her shouting in her moment of triumph woke me up.

Before I go any further, I should explain we purchased a trap that wouldn’t harm the mouse, so we could release it later, which we did, and that trap forms part of the story below. I just wanted you to know my wife and I are “catch and release” type people as much as we can be. Even with spiders, which I am absolutely afraid of but if we have to have them, I would rather have them outside than in.

Oh, except for flies. We both hate flies.

So how did catching a mouse teach me a lesson about writing?

If you’re part of my Reader Group email list, you’ll know I’ve been struggling with my writing for the last four months. This isn’t unusual for creative people – we can periodically get caught up in depression and depressive episodes, questioning what we’re doing and why, and whether what we do even matters.

Writing is hard when you remind yourself that you’re effectively putting a piece of your heart and soul into each new project and setting if off into the world for people to judge.

It’s easy to lose your self-belief and get stuck in the mire of thinking that what you do doesn’t matter.

Which is part of what I’m going through right now. Among other things, but it’s my mental state that needs some loving right now so that’s what I’m talking about today.

So back to the mouse story.

We’ve known we’ve had a mouse running around our place for at least a few months, but it would disappear for a few days and we’d think it was gone for good, only for it to wake us in the middle of the night rustling through the paperwork in our bedside drawers.

Finally, a few weeks ago, my wife came home from work and informed me she would make a trap to catch the mouse. She’d just need an empty softdrink bottle, some wire, a piece of wood, some books and some food to tempt it with. I wish I’d taken a photo of it, because it was the most un-mousetrappy thing I’ve seen. It would never work.

And then it actually did. The first night we set it, we caught the little sucker.

And then watched as the mouse squeezed through the smallest of gaps to escape.

It then proceeded to spend the night going back and forth, nibbling on the food and then doing whatever the heck it was doing before we provided it with an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Then it vanished again.

(That’s not exactly true – I found a dead mouse drowned in the dogs’ water bowl and assumed it was our mouse – so sad, which is why I didn’t want to add it to the story. Ahem).

Then it turned up again. (A different one, I guess). In the middle of the night, it woke us with its shenanigans, going through our bedside tables, and I finally put my foot down. “We’re buying a mouse trap tomorrow,” I said.

So we did.

I do have a picture of this one:

And this one worked too, hence the start of my story above.

My wife duly released the mouse on her way to work. Apparently after it had gorged itself on the food we’d left in the trap. Which I guess you can’t argue about really.

If you’ve read this far, you’re now wondering how on earth this story relates in any way to writing.

One of the things we did with that mouse was reassessing the tools we had at our disposal. We used what we had ourselves first, to see if that would work. We were almost there with that, but we decided we needed the proper tool for the job to get the best result.

We also didn’t give up and let that mouse run around our house like it owned the place. If we did that, who knew how many extra house guests we’d end up having once the word got out we were apparently happy to have them.

And that’s effectively what I’ve been doing with my writing these last few weeks.

I’ve questioned whether it’s what I want to do, and reminded myself that I actually love it when it’s working.

I then questioned why it’s not working right now and came to the conclusion I’ve not been working on myself or my craft as much as I should have been.

So I upgraded my tools.

I’ve been reading and rereading craft books, fiction books for fun, and motivational books to get me back on track mentally. I’ll share those books and my thoughts on them in future posts for anyone interested.

I have a tonne of story ideas I want to get out of my head and into the world so not writing was never going to be an option anyway.

I’ve also reframed my thinking around my writing and story in general, which I’ll write about in another post.

But for now, I’m going to head off and do some free writing to get back into the habit and then finish reading some books that have been on my TBR pile for far too long.

And hoping that another mouse doesn’t decide to move into our place…

 

Five things I learned from the publication of the First Time for Everything Anthology

I posted pre-order links to the First Time for Everything anthology a few weeks before it was released. I also posted buy links to facebook for the ebook and paperback versions when it released in September, but it wasn’t until I posted photos of me opening the box of author copy paperbacks I received that I got any type of response.

Me with my shiny new paperback copy of the First Time for Everything anthology

Me with my shiny new paperback copy of the First Time for Everything anthology

I think that’s because most people “get” paper books and once they saw me holding it, it became as real for them as it was for me to have a story published. Apart from realising that paper still means “real book” to some people, here are five other things I learned from the publishing experience.

  1. Don’t discourage anyone from supporting you, even if you don’t think your book is to their taste. Friends and family will be excited for you (at least in the beginning) so if they want to buy your book, don’t discourage them.
  2. On the other hand, sometimes, people don’t give a shit. Yes, it’s exciting to publish a book, but not everyone will care. Don’t fret if people don’t share the same enthusiasm as you do and share your news (and links to your book) with everyone they know like you’d hoped.
  3. Take the compliments on board, and then get back to writing. It’s great to get praise for something you’ve laboured over for what seems like months (or sometimes years). The biggest compliment anyone can give you is to buy your next book and they can’t do that if you’re still fawning over the last one.
  4. Share links to your work often (but don’t spam). People miss them on facebook and twitter and tumblr because of the churn of the timeline and other people’s posts. Give a direct link so people can buy in the easiest way possible.
  5. Non-writers are fascinated by writers. Yes, it can get annoying answering the same questions over and over again (“So, do you write, like, Twilight/50 Shades/Game of Thrones/[insert hot new release here]?”) but at least they’re trying to relate to you. Have patience and answer their questions – they wouldn’t ask if they weren’t interested. Plus, you never know when you might gain a new fan.

Bonus:

Take some time to bask in the glory of what you have produced. I know I said get straight back into it and write the next book, but you should take a few days to ride the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with writing and publishing. Not everyone gets to experience the feeling of seeing other people read their words, so enjoy it for a little while and then get back into it.

With all of that said, my time for basking is over so I’m off to write the next one.

On writing short

It’s taken me a long time to get into a sort of groove with my writing. I’ve learned to plot just enough to keep me going on the story without getting stale or losing my way (thanks largely to the “Beats” chapters in Write. Publish. Repeat by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant – highly recommended for writers everywhere).

Apart from the plotting side of things, it was always hard for me to work out a word count to aim for. Years ago when I first started writing, I’d done my research into manuscript lengths accepted by various publishers, depending on the genre etc. The general rule of thumb back then, as I think it still is now, is that for a new writer, a length of around 75,000 words is a good length to aim for.

75,000 words is a daunting number, especially when you’re just starting out.

The advent of the kindle and KDP have disproved the theory that word counts matter largely, I guess, because digital books don’t have an actual size. Unlike paper books, which we can hold and weigh in our hands and compare to the one beside it for perceived value ($ per page I suppose), digital books don’t seem to get that same treatment.

It’s true that some reviewers have given books fewer stars in reviews because the story wasn’t long enough compared to the price paid (sometimes as little as 99c!), but for the most part, I think those reviewers were just unsatisfied with the endings.

I digress.

A lot of new advice I’ve been reading lately, when newer writers ask about lengths for manuscripts, has been “write to the story’s natural length.” I think the “natural length” theory also applies to writers.

For example, in my first (and only) attempt at completing Nanowrimo, I topped out at around 25,000 words.

Before I started the book I just finished, I gave myself a target of 15,000 words and ended up at just over 21,000 words. It’s yet to be edited, so that word count will change, though probably not markedly.

During the course of writing that book, and plotting out others I’m working on, I’ve realised that novellas between 15,000 words and 35,000 words seem to be my sweet spot. I think the reason for that is that I tend to be a “sparse” writer – just enough detail on characters and scenes to set the reader up, but I leave most of the description to the reader’s imagination. Whether readers will like that or not remains to be seen, but the fact remains that I write better short.

If I don’t give myself a smaller target to hit, I tend to waffle on (as can be seen by some of my earlier blog posts). It’s also a great motivator seeing the word counter tick closer to the target and then surpassing it with plenty more to write when I have smaller limits.

Shorter books seem to be doing well on kindle now too, though it does depend on the genre I think. Hugh Howey’s Wool started with a 12,000 word novella which turned into a 3-book series of novellas, and there are very few people who complained about the length. Incidentally, he also serialised his books, preferring to publish each part as it was finished, rather than wait until he’d completed the entire books.

Romance novellas are going great guns as well, with authors able to churn out more books more quickly in series that fans devour, because they’re shorter reads.

So, whether my books stay around that 25,000 word length or not, only time will tell. For the moment though, that’s what I’m concentrating on, because the best thing about aiming for a 25,000 word book as opposed to a 75,000 word book is that I get them finished sooner.

And nothing motivates me to continue on to the next book like finishing the last one.

Diversity in YA and what I’m doing to change it

In sport, particularly when playing finals, we have a saying:

“Leave nothing in the tank”

In other words, play your absolute best today. Leave nothing for tomorrow. Today, it counts. In writing terms, it would be “Do your best work now.” Don’t wait for tomorrow or next week or next year to work on projects that are close to your heart.

I think it’s entirely appropriate for the way I’m feeling about my writing at this point in time. Why? Because I’ve just completed my half-yearly review of my business plan and writing goals and, among other things, I’ve decided to ditch some projects I’ve been working on (for now), and bring forward some other projects I was going to get to “at some point in the future.”

I’ll write more about my business and writing plan update in another post, but today I wanted to explain why I’ve changed direction so dramatically.

A few months ago, I had a short story accepted for inclusion in an LGBT+ YA anthology from Harmony Ink Press that’s slated for release in September. (Again, more on this next month).

Since then, I’ve read posts and tweets and articles on various blogs around the place about the lack of diversity in YA fiction. Not just with regards to sexuality, but with regards to other cultures, disabilities and other “differences” people have to deal with that are under-represented in the YA fiction currently being published.

This one in particular really made me question my priorities.

It made me revisit the reasons I started writing in the first place, back when I was at uni and was writing as a way to clear my mind from marketing and accounting and law. The reason I started writing was because there was a serious lack of stories with characters I could relate to. And being before the internet, there was no real way of finding any books that may have existed.

Hell, I didn’t even realise I was gay at that point. I just knew I was different – I knew that what my friends said they felt about their boyfriends, I didn’t feel about mine. I also didn’t know anyone who was gay or lesbian, and those words (gay and lesbian) were words that were whispered by adults, out of earshot of children and teenagers.

Back to my short story for a moment – before I submitted it, I did a bit of googling to see what I could find out about the publisher. That was more a business decision at the time, because I wanted to make sure it lined up with my long-term goals as a writer.

What I discovered is that Harmony Ink’s philosophy lined up with my own initial reasons for writing – to write the stories I wish were around when I was a teenager.

It’s a pretty simple concept really, and in my haste to get stories out, I’d actually forgotten why I write in the first place.

So what do I wish I’d read way back then, when I was struggling to put a name to how I was feeling?

I wish I’d read stories where the girl got the girl in the end. I wanted stories that when I’d turned the last page and read the last word, made me feel good about myself. Stories that gave me a sense of hope that I could fall for someone who would fall for me too.

Here’s the thing though – I used to write those stories. I used to write about girls like me, whose friends didn’t think she was strange for liking other girls.

When I started to take my writing seriously though, I stopped writing those stories. Why? Because I knew, deep down, that if I wanted to get published, I wouldn’t get there by writing about girls who like other girls.

Books like that are getting published now, yes, but not  often enough. And they’re certainly not being publicised enough or given a chance to reach their audience. An audience which is obviously hungry for those books.

Publishing is changing though, and publishers like Harmony Ink Press, who specialise in LGBT+ YA fiction are leading the charge. But a big influence on my decision to go back to writing those YA stories is the advent of self-publishing, and the ability to reach readers more directly.

There are a lot of new ways for authors to write and publish more diverse books, and for readers to find them.

It’s an exciting time.

And from now on, I’m leaving nothing in the tank. I’m not letting these stories languish in the back of my mind to get to “some time in the future.”

Because the stories I want to write aren’t needed tomorrow, or next week or next year – they’re needed now, yesterday, today.

The girls I’ve been waiting so long to write about are shy, strong, tough, sensitive, flawed, and lesbian. And finally, after waiting all these years, they’re coming out to play.

 

How Hugh Howey changed my mind

Sunday - fish

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short story in less than a day. I had a title in mind, and was mulling over what sort of story would go with it. I’d used the same title quite a few years ago with a short story I wrote for a competition that will never again see the light of day, but I really loved the title and wanted to use it again with a new story.

So, I discovered a new writer’s festival was coming up, and they had a short story competition. I vaguely thought I should write a story for it, if I found the time.

That same week, I was heading to bed late one night after a long day of writing and plotting when the title popped into my head again. Maybe it was my sleep-deprived brain doing the talking, but I let my mind wander and within an hour of going to bed, I had come up with a character and a setting I thought I could work with.

Instead of getting out of bed to write down those first thoughts and ideas, I slept on it. Lo and behold, the next morning when I sat down with my coffee and began to write, the words flowed. It was a fantastic feeling, and the fact that I actually liked what I was writing made it all the better.

I got to around 2,500 words and still hadn’t finished the story when I decided to stop and take a break, because the competition had a 2,000 word limit. I re-read it that afternoon, wrote it until the end, and then cut mercilessly at anything that didn’t belong until finally, exhausted, I got it down to 1,997 words.

As soon as I finished it, I wanted people to read it, but I knew I had written it with the competition in mind, so I sent it to my beta readers for feedback. I filled out the entry form, printed out the story, and then….

And then I didn’t post it. I’m not sure what stopped me, but something did, and I’m glad. Because then I read this facebook post by Hugh Howey –

 

Hugh Howey - Facebook

That post made me reassess what I want from my career as a writer. I asked myself what I wanted most from my writing. The answer?

I want people to read my stories.

I want to write stories and I want people to read them. It made me think about whether that competition would help me move forward with that one goal. It wouldn’t. Entering that competition would lock that story up until November, when the winner would be announced. If I were lucky enough to win or get selected for inclusion into the anthology, it still wouldn’t allow people to read my story. Why? Because that anthology most likely wouldn’t be available to people outside the festival or the organisation that was printing it. It certainly wouldn’t be available on amazon, where people who bought the anthology to read other authors could discover me.

That one post by Hugh Howey made me remember why I do what I do, and what I love most about writing. It’s the sharing of stories that I love. The sharing of characters and thoughts and ideas with people who might enjoy them and connect with them.

Last night I commissioned an ebook cover and started getting the file ready to compile and upload. This morning, after some final checks, it’s ready to go.

You can buy my new story, Sunday – fish, from amazon. The other stores will follow on the weekend.

And by the way, I bought and read that short story Hugh was referring to in his facebook post, Promises of London, and highly recommend it. You can buy it from amazon for 99c here.

 

And the winner is….

Thanks to everyone who voted on the poll to name my stable of horses for an upcoming book. We had over 2,600 votes over 7 days, and the lead changed 9 times.

Here’s how the race played out –

It’s Taxman out in front by half a length in front of Cruise Junkie. Notadonkey is managing to keep pace with Nekminit and Pushing Daisies close behind. Sotally Tober is looking a bit confused and is caught in the middle a short head in front of Belle’s Magic, Helen’s Courage and Dream Date. Bringing up the rear is Giddyup, Elay Princess, Indienile and the as yet unfired Rocket.

We’ve rounded the final turn and it’s Taxman holding steady, but she’s lost ground to Sotally Tober who’s come screaming up the inside, jumping to second ahead of Notadonkey and Cruise Junkie. A half-length behind is Nekminit and Pushing Daisies, who have fallen off the pace and are followed closely by a late-running Indienile. Helen’s Courage is having a good go at it, neck and neck with Dream Date and Belle’s Magic. Rocket seems to have misfired completely this time out and brings up the rear with Giddyup and Elay Princess.

We’re in the home stretch now and Notadonkey is really showing his credentials, edging ahead of Taxman and Sotally Tober. Nekminit, Cruise Junkie and Pushing Daisies are fighting it out for the final spot while Indienile is pushing hard. Helen’s Courage is showing some ticker, but Giddyup might have left its run too late. Belle’s Magic might still have something up her sleeve, and Rocket seems to have finally lit its fuse, nudging ahead of Elay Princess and Dream Date.

Aaand it’s Belle’s magic defying a slow start to storm home on the outside right at the death ahead of Taxman, with Notadonkey rounding out the top three.
Sotally Tober kept his feet running on into 4th despite a stumble on the first turn, nudging ahead of Nekminit who galloped into 5th.
Cruise Junkie faded late into the middle of the pack along with Pushing Daisies and Indienile. Helen’s Courage ran on late but finished out of the placings.
Closing out the field are Giddyup, Rocket, Elay Princess and Dream date, who all suffered from poor barriers and bad starts and never recovered.

 

Final Placings

Belle’s Magic
Taxman
Notadonkey
Sotally Tober
Nekminit
Cruise Junkie
Pushing Daisies
Indienile
Helen’s Courage
Giddyup
Rocket
Elay Princess
Dream Date

 

I’m still working on the first draft of this one and I can’t wait to get it finished. In the meantime, I’ll have another short story coming out in the next week or so.

 

Name That Horse

I’m terrible at naming things. All my books have working titles like “The Space One” and “The Cosy Murder #1”, and my character names look like the unnamed extras in a movie (policeman #1, Guy at the Bar, Stripper #4, Main Character etc)

So when I needed some names for some racehorses for a story I’m working on, I thought I’d hit up facebook and see what my friends and family could come up with. Turns out, it was more successful than I imagined and I ended up with around 50 potential names.

My problem now is that’s there’s too many to choose from. So again, I’m calling on the assistance of anyone who wants to have a say in naming my racehorses what I should call them.

You’ll notice a poll has popped up on the right side with my top choices. You can choose up to 5, since that’s how many horses I have in my stable, with the winners getting a shout-out in the book when it comes out.

Want your name in the book? Feel free to share this post and the poll with your friends and family and get them to nudge your name to the top.

The poll closes in a week, so get to it. And don’t forget to check back to see how you’re doing.

 

Get to know you – part 4

Part 4 of the Getting to know you series. Check out part one, part two and part three if you haven’t already.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Definitely happy endings.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
The Hunger Games – Catching Fire – A-ma-zing!

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Blue. They’re always blue.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer, especially western summers.

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Both. At the same time is best.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Oooh, tough one. Home-made chocolate self-saucing pudding with my wife’s home-made custard.

37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Strength training.

38. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Both – I can multi-task.


39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Save the Cat Goes to the Movies is my writing-related reading material at the moment. On the fiction side, I only have time at the moment for short stories and novellas, so I’m getting stuck into some anthologies. I’m currently reading The End Is Nigh, which is the first anthology in an Apocalypse Tryptich (edited by John Joseph Adams, and featuring stories by Hugh Howey,Scott Sigler and Seanan McGuire among many others).

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
“Bremer’s Herberge”. We got it from the youth hostel we stayed at in Interlaken, Switzerland.

 

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