Another Beautiful Nightmare
It’s nearly been a year since my last release but hopefully, this will be the first of many in 2019. Also how pretty is this cover art created by Rebecca Poole?
I’m really pleased to be a part of this anthology with my short story ‘The Final Girl.’ Ruby was certainly an interesting character to write and I hope readers agree.
I’m not who you think I am.
…I don’t care.
back to the #52weekblogchallenge and today I’m a day early. I know, it’s shocking. For someone who hasn’t been regularly blogging for awhile and I’m now 3 for 3.
What would I be if I wasn’t a writer? To be honest I’m not sure. I have a day job or in my case, a ridiculous morning job. I don’t know if that’s what I’ll do for the rest of my life but if I can keep focused, maybe I’ll be lucky and be able to write full time.
I imagine I’d always be doing something creative. I like photography and did a class when I was in college. It was a hobby I shared with my dad, but that’s a lot like writing. There’s a lot of us out in the world, it’s all about carving out your own niche but a writer or photographer, needs fans, without them we’re all just shouting out into the void.
If I had to choice a job which wasn’t creative? When I was little I wanted to do two things, brain surgeon or gardener. Could I picture my life like that? Not really. Not anymore. Now it’s all about finding a balance, day/night job and everything else in between.
Yep I’m continuing with the #52weekblogchallenge. In all honesty I was about to go to bed and then remembered that I haven’t done this yet.
How much of myself is in my writing.
Now if I was a horror writer I could say, well a lot of myself does go into my writing. Blood, tears and the occasional spleen. Instead I’m going to have a grown up reply. It’s slightly boring but more accurate.
It really is a good question. I think writers put a lot of themselves into their work. It’s what makes books stand apart, they all have a distinctive voice and no two are the same. Some are strong. Some not so much. I put a lot of myself into my work, for me it’s my sense of humor. My lead characters all have a dry sense of wit.
When I’m feeling off my game, maybe I’m not feeling very well or I’m tired, I find that whatever I write that day is lacking something. It doesn’t draw the reader in and is quite flat. A lot of these things can be fixed in an edit when you see it with fresh eyes. My current story is the sequel to Heartless and I’m editing that before it goes to the editor. Getting rid of repeat or weak words and making it strong. It might sound silly, editing it before it gets to an editor, I mean that’s their job but this is my baby and I want it to be as close to perfect even before it gets to her.
I have a habit of remembering the bad over the good. I can over analyzing like nobodies business. Which means I think a lot about the things I lost or what I’ve done wrong. I have conversations in my head with people I no longer talk to and with people no longer here. I’m a pressure cooker, I keep a lot bubbling underneath the surface and my anger, when it shows itself, shows itself like an explosion.
But that’s not the point of the blog. I can rage all I like but that’s not my earliest memory, it’s my current life.
Earliest memory. I’ll try to think of a good one.
I remember missing a glasses appointment when I was in primary school and getting into trouble for it. I also remember jumping from a fence and forgetting to bend my knees. I think that’s one of the reasons I still have back problems. Damn, I remember the pain so vividly and as I ran I cried my eyes out. It wasn’t even a proper run more like a shambling zombie. I can’t remember the precise moment I climbed the fence in our back garden but I don’t think I was walking properly. I might have still been in nappies.
I escaped from our back garden and then climbed some stairs in the flat which was next to our house. My parents must have been terrified. The fence was six feet tall and in all honesty I find it hard to believe that I was able to climb it safely but I did. My parents heard me crying because I got stuck up the stairs in the flats and couldn’t get back down again.
I’ve never been very good at keeping up with my blog. In all honesty I doubt that people read them very much anything. There are more ways to connect with readers these days and blogs seem a bit old hat.
The 52 week blog challenge seems like an interesting idea and if I post on a Sunday, it gives a week to think of the next topic.
I don’t have many published stories, so it shouldn’t be that hard to think of which one was my favorite. The first story I had published or maybe the first one I self-published? A story written in the first person or maybe the third? A new genre or one that speaks to my soul? It like choosing your favorite child or your last meal.
Let’s go with my last story. Every time I start to write a story I never remember how I did it. I know that sounds stupid, maybe even unbelievable but it’s the truth. It’s like learning how to ride a bike, then promptly falling off of it.
Broken Wings, a story that was originally published in an anthology is my last story. It features Oak Reedsinger, a fey who loses her wings after she saves a human child. Interaction with the human race is forbidden and Oak is exiled. Broken Wings is a short story and I loved it. It stretched me as a writer. The characters were interesting and I got good feedback from readers. It isn’t my most popular story, which is a shame as I wish more people read it. It has a brilliant story at the center of it about acceptance.
Broken Wings on Amazon
Rachel Valentine isn’t your typical 16 year old. She ran away to London to find her brother. Met a werewolf. Stopped a supernatural war. Had her first kiss. And found out she wasn’t as human as she thought. She survived all of that. Surviving werewolf academy should be a breeze.
For those that read my blog, it’s common knowledge that I lost my dad last year to cancer. It’s because of him that I started to run, first for race for life and then for longer runs, and developed a real enjoyment of it. I know that sounds strange. If someone said to me that I’d enjoy sweating for half an hour a day I would have called them nuts. He taught me photography and I loved to make him laugh.
I hoped that he would be the last one I lost to such a devastating disease, then my nan got sick this year. She went really quickly, it’s hard to get my head around, I planned to see her on the Monday and she died in the morning.
I decided to try and use my talents to help people so I found one of my old stories, one which had loads of potential and I went to work on it. The plan being that this would be a story were all the proceeds went to Cancer Research. I hate fundraising. Asking people for money has always rubbed me the wrong way so I thought this would be the best way.
Broken Wings went up for sale last Friday, 99 cents for a novella. A worthy cause, one that we are all affected by in one form or another. I hope you take a chance on this. It already has a great 5 star review on it.
All the sales from this book will go to Cancer Research. Originally Broken Wings was a part of the Tales of the Fairy anthology and was 5k long. It has been extensively rewritten and is now 15k.
Oak Reedsinger is a member of the forest fey until one fateful night when she saves a human child. She loses her wings and only barely escapes with her life. Told about the city fey that might be able to help her, she travels to London on a journey that will show her that perfection is only skin deep and there is strength in being different.
I’ve tried to do the self-published route before but decided that I wasn’t ready for it. I think to self-publish anything you need a thick skin and a bit of money behind you for editors and cover artists. Broken Wings was published last year as part of Steamworks Inks Cogs in Time #3 anthology. It was edited by the talented Catherine Stowell so it didn’t need a new set of eyes.
The most difficult part was finding a cover. I lost count of the hours I spent trying to find something suitable. I downloaded photoshop last year and practised a lot but I still couldn’t figure it out. Then (cues dramatic music) everything clicked into place and I came up with this.
I was really impressed how it turned out. It also helps with branding my steampunk stories. When I figured out this cover, the cover for Broken Wings was easy to come up.
The Escape is a prequel to Heartless and is set in my Guild world. For those who loved Simone LeBeau, this tells her background and why she ended up in London. The cover looks a little dark on my tablet but lighter on a phone. Odd. It’s still striking and definitely screams steampunk to me. It’s a unique niche. Hell, it might be a dying genre but this was a story that needed to be told. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing Broken Wings and Wings, which I’ll be renaming…Also, I need to work on a cover for that…that’s my plan for the weekend.
For those in the know Nano begins today, the 1st of November. For those not in the know, Nano stands for National Novel Writing Month…the whole form of it is NaNoWriMo but to keep the strain off my fingers we’ll just call it Nano which reminds me of a robot failing its arms going Nano Nano. Sorry it’s Tuesday morning and like the day before I haven’t had much sleep or coffee and I’m currently on my way to the day job for overtime because Christmas is round the corner and that doesn’t pay for itself.
Nano hasn’t never been very easy for me. I write short stories or novellas. Novels are a beast I haven’t conquered yet. The last three attempts for this month failed but fourth times the charm and all that. This year I have a plan. Well, when I say plan I mean a story that needs to be written and I’m also going to attempt to update my blog every day to hold myself accountable.
The two stories that I released were old stories that I got the rights back to and I haven’t found my focus yet but Moon, needs a sequel and the only way that’ll happen is it I write it. So wish me luck? I think I’m going to need it.
November 1st: Total word count: 0 (I will be getting to it after the overtime shift)
This week saw the release of my young adult novella Moon. For those who follow my blog you’ll know that it’s been a long road to this point.
Rachel is one of my favorite characters. She might just be 16 but she’s resourceful and headstrong. I hope you enjoy reading her story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
The night my brother ran away from home, everyone gave up on him.
Everyone but me.
Six years later and nobody believes me when I see him on the news, standing in the crowd.
So what else was I supposed to do?
I escape the convent and head to London to find him.
I will find out what happened to my brother.
Even if some secrets are impossible to believe.
You can check it out here, this link will take you to the amazon available for your country. http://www.smarturl.it/rachelvalentine