S R Silcox - Author

Blog updated 2-3 times a month.

Tag: Writing (page 2 of 2)

Get to know you – part 3

Part three in the getting to know you series. If you missed them, check out part one and part two.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Gloriana and Colbie Caillat – get’s me ready for writing YA.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Red. It writes faster.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Baking – chocolate cake, banana bread, fresh bread, you name it. If it’s sweet and it’s baking in the oven, I like it.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My wife.

25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Beach house.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Anything with a ball. If you can hit it, catch it, throw it or kick it, I like watching it. If I had to pick though, I’d miss my own wedding for cricket…

27. HAIR COLOR?
I’d have to ask my hairdresser. I DO know that I have blonde foils though.

28. EYE COLOR?
Brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No.

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Dessert of any kind, unless it contains fruit. And spaghetti bolognese. Oh, and chocolate cake.

Stuff I Found Interesting On the Web

I read a lot. Books, blogs, facebook, news articles, tweets, the backs of toilet cleaner bottles. And I thought, hey, maybe the few people who stop by here occasionally might be interested in what I found interesting around the place. I’ll post this stuff monthly, and sometimes more than that, depending on what floats my boat.

It’ll mostly be random stuff, so expect sport, publishing/self-publishing news, blogs I liked, sport, stuff I procrastinated with, sport.

JA Konrath
Joe Konrath has a lot of publishing greatness on his blog. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend reading it. This post is timely I think, because the publishing industry is going through some big changes, and Joe wants you to think about how  you define yourself, and whether you let others do it for you instead. Unusually introspective from Joe, but a great post.

Joanna Penn – The Creative Penn
Hot on the heels of Joe’s post is an earlier post from Joanna Penn at the fantastic Creative Penn website. She asks what your definition of success is. It’s important to understand this concept if you’re a self-published author. I have a list of income amounts I want to hit. For example, $5/week buys me my weekly coffee at my local cafe; $10/week gets a slice of cake with my coffee; $20/week gets me my coffee, pays my monthly mobile bill AND I get to eat my cake too. You get the picture. Having concrete income goals allows me to work backwards and calculate how many books I’ll need to sell and at what prices to allow me to make that consistent income. It also gives me to something to aim for so I keep my eye on the coffee and cake prize.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has great advice on her website for writers, and she currently writing a Discoverability Series that centres on how writers can find their audience. You can read the first of the series here, but she’s now up to part 11.

Lesfic Downunder
Some new sites for Lesbian Fiction have popped up. Lesfic Downunder aims to bring Aussie and Kiwi lesfic authors together under one roof. And Indie Lesfic is showcasing hybrid, indie and self-published lesbian fiction authors from around the world. Check them out for your next great read, and to learn more about some of your favourite authors.

New Books Out
In new book news, Layce Gardner and Saxon Bennett have released a new book. More Than a Kiss is out at all good online bookstores. From the product description:
“One minute Jordan March was falling out a window and the next she was falling in love – with the emergency room doctor! It looked as if nothing could stand in the way of Jordan and Dr. Amy Stewart finding true love together… except a banana peel, a psycho stalker, a lesbian poetess, an extreme chef, a KGB spy, and a sex toy inventor.
Join Saxon Bennett and Layce Gardner as they combine their creative *genius to bring you the romantic comedy of the century.
** Guaranteed money back if you don’t laugh out loud.
* Geniuses in their own mind.
** This is a lie. The authors are broke.”

Publication of my short story “The Break Up”
In case you missed it, my short story The Break Up was published online at narratorPride. Head on over to check it out along with other GLBT(xyz) writings.

And don’t forget, if you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter to get a sneak peek into my upcoming series Division 10.

 

Get to know you – part 1

Remember those random question quizzes you got back in the early days of email? I LOVE them! I stumbled across this one online and couldn’t resist. I’ve changed up some of the questions though because they were a little US-centric. There are 50 in all, so I’ve broken them up into 5 separate posts so as not ot overwhelm you with my awesome answers.

Feel free to re-post on your blog if you want to answer them too, and post a link on the comments so I can come check it out. Also feel free to send through any other questions you come up with and I’ll add them to the list.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Selene, the moon goddess – check it. Not deliberately though. I was meant to be called Jamie, but apparently another girl was born in the same hospital before I was born and her parents named her Jamie. Or so I’ve been told.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?

December 17, 2013. We won back the Ashes from the Poms. Wonderful day for us Aussies.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Usually, except the times I can’t read what I write, then I hate it.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Chicken. Same as my favourite dinner meat.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No. I do have 2 dogs though, who sometimes act like kids.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Hell yes! I’m an awesome friend.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
A lot more than I should at my age.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Not unless it was for a bet. I’m squeamish about heights.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Coco-pops, but they’re full of sugar, so I just look at them longingly when I pass them in the aisle at my grocery shop.

 

The Story Behind the Story – How a 10 day deadline became my debut novella, Three Wishes

Three Wishes - Low res (2)

Monday the 9th of December saw me press publish on my first novella, Three Wishes. It’s up on amazon, and hopefully up on kobo soon. It was a rush to see it up on it’s own little page with my name on the cover.

This little book is so far from what I usually write, but I loved every minute of it. It’s conception was completely different to my other stories, so I decided to share the story behind the story.

For the better part of a year, I’ve been working on 2 series (both urban fantasies) and a couple of YA contemporary ideas, and getting stuck on all of them. I promised my wife that I’d have “something” published by the end of the year, and as the weeks and days ticked over, I realised I wasn’t going to be able to keep that promise.

I knew my wife would be upset, because from her point of view, my first year of being a full-time writer was a waste. I’ve written a lot of words and been able to find my ‘voice’, so I don’t think it was a complete waste of time, but I guess I can see why my wife would think that. I had nothing tangible to show for my efforts.

So, I said to myself, “Self, what would make your wife not be angry with you, and allow you to keep your promise?”

Self replied, “Write her a book. Women love that shit.”

So it was that I came up with the idea to completely forget about all that had come before for the time being, and come up with something entirely new. I gave myself 10 days to come up with a short story or novella that was of a publishable standard. It wouldn’t be enough to just have a story finished – I would have to be happy enough with it to want to share it with others ie publish it so the world could crap on it.

Apart from appeasing my wife, it would also serve as a way to prove to myself that I could come up with something from nothing, and that I could write fast if I wanted to. It would also double-up as a Christmas present, so how could I not go ahead with it?

Let me tell you, it was exciting and exhausting and fun and terrifying, all at once.

After tossing around ideas for a few hours, I came up with the one I used – a character so excited about Christmas and a believer in Santa who wanted to prove to others that Santa exists. That’s my wife to a T, although the character of Sophie isn’t really based on my wife (though she will probably tell you differently!)

I then gave myself another day to come up with the plot from start to finish. I had a minimum and maximum word count (7,500-12,000) to keep me from blathering on, and then came up with the characters and the general plot. I wrote one sentence about each chapter, flipped those chapters around so they worked better and then started writing.

The twist didn’t come to me until I was writing the chapter where it happens (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t yet read the book). When that happened, I sat back and thought, “Huh, well there you go.” I didn’t second guess it, even though it changed my ending. I also didn’t second-guess it when another character appeared out of the blue and changed the course of Mac’s story.

All up, I hit the 10-day time-frame I gave myself to have it publish-ready. It took an extra few days to commission the cover art and get my beta readers and an editor friend of mine to look over it, and another day to teach myself how to format the file to upload it to amazon and kobo, which proved easier than I first thought.

Then came the time for the big reveal. I had tossed around just giving it to my wife on Christmas morning, but that meant that I couldn’t tell anyone about it, even if I published it, because my wife would find out. While it was an exciting prospect to wait and give her the best present ever, I really wanted my family and friends to know that all my talking about writing wasn’t me just talking crap.

I wanted validation, and I wanted to release my little book on the world and see if it could make its own friends.

I decided to print out the story and compile it into a little booklet, complete with a ribbon tying the pages in place.

Three Wishes - Original Print version (One of a kind!)

Three Wishes – Original Print version (One of a kind!)

I was extremely nervous giving the book to her, because I knew how much I wanted her to like it. The thing about my wife is, she can’t fake it. If she didn’t like it, she wouldn’t tell me she did, just to make me feel better. Having said that, we had the following conversation:

Wife: So is this just for me or for publishing?

Me: If you like it, I’ll publish it if you want me to. If you don’t I won’t.

Wife: That’s too much pressure! I’m going to lie to you. If I don’t like it, I’m going to tell you I do, just so you publish it anyway.

Lucky for us both, she liked it.

I sat beside her as she read it, and she seemed to laugh in all the right places. And because she liked it, I published it.

After all of that excitement, I’m not exactly sure how I can top that for a Christmas present, but I have just over a week to come up with something.

I’ll be quiet on the blog for the next few weeks because of the Christmas holidays and working on the 2 urban fantasy projects, and then we’re off with my niece on a 2 week holiday to Tasmania in January. I’ll still be writing during that time, but I probably won’t find time to update the blog until the end of January.

Until then, I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

My debut novella, Three Wishes, is on special on amazon until Boxing Day for just 99c. You can buy it by clicking on the cover at the top of this post, or clicking here.

‘Tis the season…to go a little bit crazy

Today marks the official start of the Christmas Season, which for me means organising a visit home, booking our dogs into suitable digs for their “holiday”, and trying to find new hiding places for my wife’s Christmas presents.

It also means I’m a few weeks off my promise to have “something” published before the end of the year. Although I’ve had 12 months to get stuff finished, it’s taken me that long to get into a good routine, work through the ideas I have and to find my voice.

I’m still struggling with a few things but I’m getting better. I have some short stories I’m happy with so they’ll get published but more likely in the new year, and after I have some longer books out.

I have managed to get a lot of work done in the last week on a new project that’s been marinating for a few months. I have a very short time-frame, but I’m planning on this one being available for Christmas – a great time for publishing a debut work I think.

I’m also working on a project for a good friend of mine, which I’ll reveal when it’s ready to go (in the next week). It’s a very special and exciting project that’s been almost 2 years in the making, and it’s something that I’m proud to be a part of.

And that brings me to the ‘crazy’ – since the production schedule is so tight, I’ve been working late nights and early mornings just to get my own special project done. I have a few days left to get the first draft to my Beta’s, I’ve commissioned a cover that should be ready in the next week or so, and I’ve got all the back-of-house stuff ready to go – smashwords and amazon accounts, links, business stuff etc – so I’m hoping once the actual book is finished, it will be a smooth transition from unpublished writer to published author (famous last words, I know).

If  you want to hear about the progress of both of these projects, sign up for the newsletter. Subscribers get to hear about stuff first, and as a bonus, subscribers who sign up before the end of December get a free copy of my short story ‘The Breakup’.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing about today – it marks the day I get to open the first flap on my Advent calendar.

Unplugging

My wife gets extremely frustrated with me over my use of technology. I love sharing stuff with my friends on facebook, and on text. To the point where when something happens at home, my wife says (sarcastically) “Are you going to share THAT on facebook?”

She has a point I suppose. I love connecting through facebook and twitter and text with my friends and family that I don’t have face-to-face contact with. And let’s face it, living out in western Queensland, five hours from the closest major city has it’s drawbacks. Not least of which is contact with like-minded people, and the friends we left when we moved.

So anyway, this week sees us both unplugging from all things tech because we’re going camping for a few days. I do have one exception though – I’m loading up my kindle with stuff to read, because I’ll have a lot more hours in the day to do absolutely nothing.

Apart from that though, we’ll have no phone reception, and no power to recharge devices I’d normally use, including my eee pc and laptop.

My wife thinks I’ll struggle, but I don’t think so. I’m taking lots of pens and notebooks, and have big plans for getting some writing done. I’m going to use the time to look at some ideas that have been floating around my head drive for a long time and see if I can flesh them out enough to add them to my schedule for next year.

I also have a series idea that I’ve had rolling around for a year or so that I’m very excited about, but need to really get the basics brainstormed and set down. I have huge plans for that idea if I can make it work, but I don’t want to go at it half-arsed like I have with my ideas previously.

I’m also looking forward to writing long-hand, which is how I started around 15 years ago, even though I had a pc I could use. When I wrote long-hand, I wrote without one side of my brain thinking of the editing process, and it felt freeing. When I type on a laptop which is what I do now, I can immediately delete what I’ve written, and that’s sad I think. When I write long-hand, there’s no deleting it into the ether. I also like the second-draft process that comes from typing out hand-written notes or chapters.

Apart from all of that though, I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my wife and friends, and just relaxing. The home-brew beer and ginger beer will have a good showing over the next week, and I’m sure they will help grease the wheels.

Besides, I’ll have a whole weeks’ worth of photos and stories to regale my facebook friends with when I get back.

 

 

 

 

 

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